Local News

Upcoming A249 Traffic Delays

Upcoming A249 Traffic Delays

Swale Borough Council has issued a warning to motorists who are regular users of the A249 in the Sittingbourne area.

From Monday 22nd September, South East Water will be replacing 730 mtrs of water main, with a new tougher plastic, on the A249 between the M20 junction 7 and the M2 junction 5. The work is expected to last for up to seven weeks. Following a number of bursts it is being upgraded "to end the pain caused to motorists when urgent unplanned repairs are needed".

During this time Hayes Lane and Steps Hill Road, Stockbury will be closed for five days and the A249 north and southbound will be reduced to one lane and subject to delays.

The construction work will be carried out by Clancy Docwra on behalf of South East Water.

Della Fackrell, Resilience Partnership Manager for Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "The work being carried out is essential maintenance. The pipe itself needs upgrading to reduce the number of water main bursts which mean when they occur, they can cause flooding and interruptions to drinking water supplies of nearby properties. Our advice to motorists is to avoid this area if possible as there will be delays to journeys throughout the seven week period".

James Smith, Delivery Manager at South East Water, told SFM News: "Pipelines are like arteries in the body and we need to keep them flowing to ensure the taps keep running. If a water main bursts, not only does it have a direct impact on our wider pipeline network, but it also causes inconvenience to customers and motorists while we carry out repairs."

For more information regarding the traffic managment meausres that will be in operation, please visit the South East Water website by clicking here.

 

Man Charged With Sheppey Farm Arson

Man Charged With Sheppey Farm Arson

A man has been charged in connection with a fire at a farm on the Isle Of Sheppey.

David Staples, aged 44 and of Kingsnorth Road in Gillingham, was charged on Wednesday (10th September) with one count of arson in relation to a fire at a property in Plough Road, Eastchurch, on last Wednesday (3rd September) which destroyed 5 stables and 10 tonnes of hay.

He was also charged with five counts of possessing indecent images.

Staples appeared at Medway Magistrates' Court yesterday (Thursday 11th September) and was remanded in custody to appear before Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 26th September.

Detective Chief Inspector Ian Humpheryes told SFM News: "The entire Sheppey community has been understandably concerned about recent farm fires. I would like to reassure the public that we are taking these incidents extremely seriously and have been working closely with Kent Fire and Rescue Service. We will be meeting with the victims to update them on the situation and I would urge residents to allow police to continue with their investigations into the other fires."

CCTV Image Released After Sittingbourne Incident

CCTV Image Released After Sittingbourne Incident

Detectives are investigating an alleged grievous bodily harm incident in Sittingbourne and have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to talk to in connection with the incident.

It is reported that a man in his 20s received serious injuries after being punched in the head by an unknown man, who was part of a group of people. The victim had been walking along High Street in Sittingbourne, in the direction of Rainham, when the incident occurred, at around 2am on Sunday 27th July.

DC Karen Caulfield, of Kent Police, told SFM News: "I would encourage the man in the image to contact police as you might have information that could help with ongoing enquiries."

If you recognise the man in the image or you have information about the incident itself, please call DC Karen Caulfield at Kent Police on 01634 792434 or you can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555 111 - please quote reference XY/27177/14.

Kent Police Receives 100 New Cuddly Recruits

Kent Police Receives 100 New Cuddly Recruits

Kent Police has taken on 100 new cuddly recruits thanks to a generous donation by the Swale Knit and Natter Group.

Police Constable Darren Chapman visited members of the group in Sittingbourne on Wednesday 27th August to receive the new cuddly toys, which will be used under the Roads Policing Unit's Trauma Teddies scheme.

All traffic vehicles now carry the Trauma Teddies which are given to youngsters up to the age of six when they are trapped in a vehicle or involved in a collision either as a passenger or pedestrian.

PC Chapman came up with the idea after having attended many distressing collisions involving young people. He told the SFM News Team: "I was delighted to meet the ladies from Swale Knit and Natter and accept their generous donation. They heard about Trauma Teddies scheme earlier this year and wanted to help and, over the course of the last few months, handmade over 100 knitted toys.I was able to spend some time with the ladies and explain how the scheme works and thank them for their donations and time they spent on creating some very good quality cuddly toys. It's always more difficult when young children are involved in a collision because you cannot always explain what is happening to them. Fear and confusion can overwhelm them and sometimes all they need is comfort and reassurance rather than the type of explanation you would give an adult."

The Swale Knit and Natter group meets every Wednesday morning, between 10.30am and 12 Noon and every Thursday evening between 5.45 and 7.45pm, at Sittingbourne Library on Central Avenue and are always looking for new members.

 

Teenagers Charged With Sittingbourne Burglaries

Teenagers Charged With Sittingbourne Burglaries

Two teenagers have been charged in connection with burglaries in Sittingbourne.

The pair - a 17-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, both from Orpington - were arrested after officers, investigating a reported burglary at an address in Jacinth Drive, located a suspicious vehicle on the A249 at around 12.50am on Thursday 21st August.

Patrols stopped the vehicle on the M2 London-bound and arrested both boys.

The 17-year-old was charged with a burglary in Canberra Gardens and another in Jacinth Drive, Sittingbourne, both overnight on Wednesday 20th August. He was also charged with driving while disqualified, aggravated vehicle taking, driving without insurance and criminal damage.

The 15-year-old was also charged in connection with the burglaries in Canberra Gardens and Jacinth Drive, aggravated vehicle taking and criminal damage.

 

Man Arrested In Sheppey Arson Investigation

Man Arrested In Sheppey Arson Investigation

Kent Police detectives have arrested a man in connection with a number of reported arsons across the Isle of Sheppey.

In a pre-planned operation, officers executed a warrant in Queens Road, Minster-On-Sea and arrested a 36-year-old man on suspicion of arson, who remains in police custody.

Detectives are investigating farm fires on Lower Road in Minster on Friday 1st August and Queenborough Road in Queenborough on Sunday 17th August. Officers remain at the scene at a blaze in Elm Lane, Minster, reported at around 1.25am earlier today (Friday 22nd August).

Swale District Commander, Chief Inspector Tony Henley, told SFM News: "I recognise how distressing these mindless and destructive fires are and I would like to reassure the residents of Sheppey, and in particular the farming community, that we are committed to catching those responsible. Alongside the criminal investigation my officers are speaking to the farming community and those affected and offering support and advice at this time. We have one person in custody today. However, we have a number of lines of enquiry ongoing and there are other people we would like to speak to in connection with these incidents. I would urge anybody with any information about these incidents to contact the investigating officer, PC Robin Stump, on 07980 683675​, quoting crime reference XY/029871/14. Alternatively, if you would prefer to remain anonymous you can call Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555111."

Local Clinic Achieves Prestigious Award

Local Clinic Achieves Prestigious Award

The Julie Gamble Advanced Skin & Hair Removal Clinic, on the High Street here in Sittingbourne, is celebrating after attaining the prestigious 'Dermalogica Circle' award.

The award is designed to recognise and reward stockists of the Dermalogica brand for their commitment to training and clinical excellence within their business.

This award now places Julie and her team in a very elite group within the UK and Republic of Ireland. 

Thomas The Bull Terrier Found New Home

Thomas The Bull Terrier Found New Home

A badly injured Staffordshire Bull Terrier called Thomas has been found a new home in Sittingbourne, thanks to a record 90,000 views made to Swale Borough Council's Facebook page.

It follows the harrowing story of the 5-year-old dog, which was left badly stabbed and tied to a railing just off Thomas Road in Murston and featured in a news stroy on your local community radio station 106.9 SFM.

The good news is that Thomas is well on the way to making a speedy recovery and is moving into his new adopted home later this week. As with other cases of strays or lost and found animals, the information was posted on Facebook seeking information from the public as to his original ownership and asking if a new home could be found for him. Ordinarily 10,000-15,000 views would be made by local people, but such was the euphoria surrounding Thomas, a staggering 90,000 views were made in just a three day period.

Alister Andrews, Environment Response Manager for Swale Borough Council told SFM News: "Considering only 140,000 people live in Swale, to get this many views for a single dog story was simply extraordinary and judging by the type of response we have received, it just shows how much local people really do care about the plight of poor animals such as Thomas. I am delighted that we have re-homed him and hopefully he, and the family which has taken him in, will be very happy together".

Swale Borough Council currently has five other abandoned dogs waiting to be re-homed and if any people are interested in acquiring a new pet, they to are asked contact the Kennels directly on 01795 842466.

 

Milton Regis Court Hall To Host Open Days

Milton Regis Court Hall To Host Open Days

The landmark building Milton Regis Court Hall will soon be opening its doors again following the signing of a new lease earlier this week.

The Friends of Milton Regis Court Hall (a registered charity) have taken over the building from Swale Borough Council and have already planned a series of Open Days at which much needed funds will hopefully be raised.

Paul David, Membership Secretary for The Friends told SFM News: ‘We are looking to raise about £20,000 in total so some will come from our souvenir shop and Open Day events in September, we have already had donations from Swale Borough Council and local Councillors, hopefully we will be able to attract new members who will contribute a modest annual subscription starting from as little as £5".

Cllr Mike Whiting,  Cabinet Member for Localism at Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "This magnificent building has been very close to my heart so I am delighted we in Swale have been able to contribute to its re-opening and I look forward to when it is a fully fledged museum in 2015. I am sure the generous people of Swale will continue to donate to this very worthy cause. My personal congratulations go to the team from The Friends for actually making this all happen".

The Open Days will be held on Saturday 13th and Sunday 14th September from 10am-4pm and all are welcome.

Town Centre Affected By Storm Flooding Again

Town Centre Affected By Storm Flooding Again

Sittingbourne has been badly affected by flooding, yet again, following a deluge in the past hour.

The worst affected areas appear to be around the bottom part of the High Street, East Street, Crown Quay Lane and both Mill Way and St Paul's Street in Milton Regis.

Stay tuned to 106.9 SFM for the latest information or follow our Twitter feed - which is also displayed on our Main Page at www.sfmradio.com.

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