Local News

New CWGC Headstone For Sittingbourne

New CWGC Headstone For Sittingbourne

On Thursday 20th April 2023 at Sittingbourne Cemetery, the Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) marked the previously unmarked final resting place of 23 year old Private Leslie Anderson, of the East Kent Regiment, with a CWGC headstone.

At the same time they installed a CWGC Pedestal Marker on the grave of 33 year old Royal Navy Petty Officer Stoker Harry John Baker, who was commemorated on the Chatham Naval Memorial.

Both installations were the result of an appeal to the CWGC, following research by Stephen Palmer, a volunteer for the Historical Research Group of Sittingbourne (HRGS), whilst he was researching into the lives of Sittingbourne’s First and Second World War casualties for the HRGS’s inter-active display, in the Heritage Hub in The Forum Shopping Centre here in Sittingbourne.

Stephen’s research identified that Leslie Anderson had enlisted as a Private with The Buffs, East Kent Regiment on 22nd August 1914 and was discharged less a year later on 27th July 1915, with tuberculosis of the lung. He was regularly assessed for his Army pension, the last time being 16th October 1918, which stated his illness was aggravated by war service and was also permanent. He died on 23rd October 1918 from Pulmonary Tuberculosis. As his illness was aggravated by war service Leslie met the criteria to be recognised as a war casualty and therefore entitled to a CWGC headstone. HRGS provided the funds to make copies of his service record and death certificate available to the CWGC to appeal for this recognition, and his appeal was accepted in November 2021.

Petty Officer Stoker Harry John Baker was commemorated on CWGC’s Chatham Naval Memorial to the Missing, which records service personnel who have no known grave and normally lost at sea. This conflicted with Harry’s situation, as he died at home after he had been discharged from the navy on 14th July 1915 due to influenza and died on 8th November 1918. Like Leslie, he died from Pulmonary Tuberculosis. Stephen’s research identified that Harry was buried in Sittingbourne Cemetery in a privately marked grave, which was covered in brambles and as his headstone was not clearly readable a CWGC pedestal marker was installed.

As a spin off to Stephen’s HRGS research, he became a volunteer for the CWGC Eyes On Hands On Programme (EOHO), which allows volunteers across the country to reconnect with the war grave history and heritage on their doorstep and help CWGC to ensure these war graves – scattered across more than 12,500 locations – are clean and well-tended. This regular information from local volunteers ensures CWGC’s professional teams can be better directed and allows us to act fast if an issue is found.

There are still more CWGC headstones that the HRGS are still working on, and they are thanking all those who have been involved in the project since 2012 along with those who continue to give them encouragement and support. If you have information or wish to be involved in the War Memorials Project, you can contact: research@hrgs.co.uk .

Swale BC Local Elections 2023 Results

Swale BC Local Elections 2023 Results

Here are the results in the Local Elections on Thursday 4th May 2023  for Sittingbourne Borough Wards.

Across the borough only 30,599 people, out of a possible 110,088, voters turned up to vote – amounting to just 22% of the elctorate.

Bobbing, Iwade and Lower Halstow

CHAPMAN, Lloyd George - Swale Independents - 501 ELECTED
CLARK, Roger - Conservative Party - 483 ELECTED
GOATHAM, Carol Ann - Green Party - 236
OLUKOYA, Olufemi Oludamilare - Labour Party - 401
RANDALL, Gareth - Conservative Party - 343
WILSON, Marc - Liberal Democrats - 267

Borden & Grove Park

BALDOCK, Mike - Swale Independents  - 1,030 ELECTED
CAVANAGH, Ann - Swale Independents - 728 ELECTED
DOBBS, Coner Michael - Conservative Party - 262
HAMPSHIRE, Nicholas James - Conservative Party - 424
SINGER, Martin Scott - Labour Party - 184


ALLSEP, Richard Thomas - Conservative Party - 173
MILLER, Charlie William - Labour Party - 298 ELECTED
TEMPLE, Hannah - Green Party - 68

Hartlip, Newington & Upchurch

COOPER, Margaret Anne - Labour Party - 297
HORTON, Alan Campbell - Conservative Party - 530
PALMER, Chris - Swale Independents - 879 ELECTED
PALMER, Richard - Swale Independents - 943 ELECTED
SAROY, Asha - Conservative Party - 336


CHEESMAN, Shelley Susannah - Labour Party - 483 ELECTED
CLARK, Simon David - Labour Party - 511 ELECTED
CLINCH, Jason - Swale Independents - 395
HOYNES, Danielle - Conservative Party - 343
LEE, Thomas Henry - Heritage Party - 240
STENNINGS, Frances - Liberal Democrat - 166
WRIGHT, John Geoffrey - Conservative Party - 340


CARNELL, Derek William - Swale Independents - 476 ELECTED
CLARK, Tony - Liberal Democrats - 236
DENDOR, Mike - Conservative Party - 322
GENT, Sue - Conservative Party - 356
WISE, Ashley Luke - Labour Party - 357 ELECTED

Milton Regis

DANAHER, David Graham - Conservative Party - 186
DAVEY, Stephen Arthur - Swale Independents - 303
VALLS, Angelica Tereza - Labour Party - 559 ELECTED
WILLIAMS, Stuart Roy - Conservative Party - 166
WINCKLESS, Anthony Charles - Labour Party - 674 ELECTED


HALL, James - Swale Independents - 593 ELECTED
HAMPSHIRE, Ann Patricia - Conservative Party - 211
LAST, Mark Anthony - Labour Party - 397 ELECTED
LAYTON, Miriam Natasha - Green Party - 119
LE GRYS, Glen Dean - Conservative Party - 171
STENNINGS, Alexander - Liberal Democrats - 139
ZENG, Mary - Liberal Democrats - 127


BLACKLOCK, Debra Louise - Green Party - 167
GIBSON, Tim - Labour Party - 652 ELECTED
MADGWICK, Rosemary - Liberal Democrats - 134
OKOTIE, Alfred - Conservative Party - 266
QUINTON, Mark Anthony - Conservative Party  - 300
WATSON, Karen Anne - Labour Party - 535 ELECTED

Teynham & Lynsted

BARKER, Dorothee Anne - Liberal Democrats - 135
BOTT, Janet Lyn - Green Party - 506
BOWEN, Lloyd Robert - Conservative Party - 764 ELECTED
JESSIMAN, Georgina Ruth - Labour Party - 344
MORRIS, Carol Louvain - Liberal Democrat -133
SPEED, Julien Peter - Conservative Party 666 ELECTED

The Meads

HUNT, James Christopher - Conservative Party - 395
WAKELEN, Shaun John - Liberal Democrats - 18


BEER, James Leslie Rashleuigh - Labour Party - 328
BURGESS, Lee - Conservative Party - 584
STEPHEN, Paul John - Swale Independents - 750 ELECTED
STEPHEN, Sarah Ann - Swale Independents - 830 ELECTED

Tune in to 106.9 SFM for the latest news and reaction to the Swale Borough Council Local Election for the wards here in Sittingbourne.

School Issues 'Stranger Danger' Alert

School Issues 'Stranger Danger' Alert

An email has been sent to parents by The Head Teacher of Kemsley Primary Academy, Iris Homer, after an alleged attempted kidnapping was reported near the school.

Kent Police have confirmed that they: "were called to a report of an attempted abduction of a child yesterday afternoon (Tuesday 25th April) at around 4.30pm. Officers attended and, as part of their enquiries, arrested two men from Sittingbourne, aged 29 and 60, on suspicion of attempted kidnap. They remain in custody. The victim was able to leave the scene and return home safely” they confirmed.

It is believed that all children at the school were going to be told in assemblies about 'stranger danger' following the incident.

The school told SFM News: “We have been informed there was an attempted kidnap of a child by a slight/athletic man around 5ft 9in, with dark eyes, wearing black sportswear, white gloves and a full ski mask. During assembly, the children were reminded how to remain vigilant whilst walking home from school (especially pupils in Year 5 and Year 6 who have permission to do so) - walking with a friend, how to stay safe while playing outside and how to respond to potentially dangerous situations including stranger danger".

Police are reminding parents and residents to be vigilant at all times. 

M2 Works - Chestnut Street & Maidstone Road Closure

M2 Works - Chestnut Street & Maidstone Road Closure

From 1am on Monday (24th April) Highways England will be closing the section of Maidstone Road that links to the Stockbury roundabout, south of Wormdale Hill.

They have confirmed that: "while we're working on the new link to Oad Street, there will be no access to the roundabout from Maidstone Road. We’re currently due to open the new link on Monday 19th June 2023".

To access the properties and businesses on Chestnut Street and Maidstone Road, motorists will now have to use the Key Street roundabout and, due to the closure, the Arriva 334 bus service will not be able to use Danaway or Chestnut Street. It will instead operate on the A249 between the Stockbury Roundabout and Key Street.

Highways England, working with Kent County Council will now be offering FREE travel on the Kent Karrier community shopper bus service, for those residents affected, they say "to ensure there is still accessible transport around the village".

If you are a resident living on the bus route and would like to make use of the offer please go to: https://www.kent.gov.uk/roads-and-travel/travelling-around-kent/communit.... You will need to provide proof of address and a photograph when applying.

There will also be changes to how drivers use the Stockbury roundabout. They have now moved traffic heading southbound on the A249 from the Stockbury roundabout onto the new Oad Street link road while we carry out work on the main carriageway, as shown in the above picture. There’s currently no right turn from the Oad Street junction on to the northbound A249 and to join the northbound carriageway, drivers will need to turn left, go to M20 junction 7 and the return on the A249 northbound.

You can find out more information on the M2 Junction 5 improvement works by clicking: https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/south-east/m2-junction-5-improv....


SFC Ladies Take The FA Kent Plate

SFC Ladies Take The FA Kent Plate

To top a fantastic week for Sittingbourne Football Club and Brickies fans, with the Men's First Team attaining 12 wins in a row and a win in their final home match of the season on Tuesday (18th April) evening, there has been some great news for the Ladies team too.

Sittingbourne Ladies FC took on Sevenoaks Town Ladies FC, at Maidstone's Gallagher Stadium, last night (Thursday 20th April) and won 2-1 to take the Football Association's Kent Women's Plate.

The Kent Women's Plate is the grassroots competition for women’s teams in the county, who play at Tier 7 of the FA Women’s Pyramid of Football and below. This has topped a fantastic season for women's grassroots football in Kent.

For more information please visit their Facebook Page https://www.facebook.com/sittingbourneladiesfc.

Spate Of Bus Shelter Vandalism Plaguing Sittingbourne

Spate Of Bus Shelter Vandalism Plaguing Sittingbourne

A spate of bus shelter vandalism has caused damage throughout Sittingbourne in the past week.

Earlier this week a bus shelter was vandalised on Milton High Street and overnight (Friday 21st April) a number of bus shelters were attacked at the Sittingbourne Bus Hub, near The Forum Shopping Centre on St Michael's Road, in the centre of town.

It is hoped that the Town Centre CCTV may have captured evidence and a case has been made to the local PCSO in Milton Regis for CCTV cameras to be installed there to prevent further anti-social behavious that has been plaguing the town there..

Kent Police are reminding people that if they see anyone commiting an act of vandalism, and it is in progress, to call 999.


Trio Prevail In Sittingbourne 6-A-Side League

Trio Prevail In Sittingbourne 6-A-Side League

The Sittingbourne 6-a-side Monday League saw three teams win their respective divisions in an exciting season of football.

Isle Of Bourne won the Premier League, Stover FC completed an incredible feat of winning every one of their 14 games in division one, and Too Old To Play FC claimed victory in division two.

Isle Of Bourne was the deserving winner of the Premier League, showcasing impressive teamwork and skill. The team’s outstanding performance was a testament to their dedication and hard work, as they overcame fierce competition to clinch the title.

Stover FC’s success in division one was truly remarkable. Winning every game in a league is no easy feat, and the team’s achievement is a testament to their talent and determination. Stover FC’s performance was a joy to watch and a true inspiration to all football enthusiasts.

Too Old To Play FC’s success in division two was equally impressive. Despite their name, the team proved that age is just a number, and they have the skills and passion to excel on the football pitch. Too Old To Play FC’s performance was a great reminder that football is a sport for all ages.

Adam Glover, Area Manager, praised the teams and the venue, and told SFM News: "Congratulations to Isle Of Bourne, Stover FC, and Too Old To Play FC on their fantastic performances. It is great to see such dedication and passion for the sport in our community. The Sittingbourne Community College League provides an excellent venue for local football enthusiasts to come together and enjoy the game they love.”

There is also a league on Sunday nights, but the Monday league resumes after Easter. Teams can join now using this link.


Snipes Hill Set For Weeks Of Disruption

Snipes Hill Set For Weeks Of Disruption

A major Sittingbourne juncion, on the A2 Canterbury Road at Snipes Hill, is set for weeks of disruption due to telcoms roadworks.

Contractors for City Fibre are installing new super fast broadband infrastructure at the busy junction of Canterbury Road, Murston Road and Rectory Road and one lane is open through the works with 4-way traffic lights controlling the traffic.

The works are expected to last until the end of May and have caused delays, especially during 'peak' hours, of around 10-15 minutes in the area.

Tune in to 106.9 SFM for the latest Traffic & Travel News (with Gents Garage).


Vehicles Seized During Multi Agency Operation

Vehicles Seized During Multi Agency Operation

Two lorries have been seized by officers during a multi-agency operation here in Swale.

Officers from Kent Police’s Rural Task Force joined forces with staff from the Environment Agency on the morning of Saturday (25th March) in response to concerns surrounding waste being illegally transported and tipped in Eastchurch.

During the operation police stopped three Scania tipper lorries to check they were road worthy and had the relevant waste licences. While one lorry driver was sent on their way, two other drivers had their vehicles seized.

One lorry was seized after it was stopped in Lower Road, Minster. The driver was handed a Traffic Offence Report (TOR) for driving with an insecure load. The vehicle was also not taxed and did not have a valid MOT.

The second vehicle was stopped in Chestnut Street, Sittingbourne, and was also identified as having no tax before it was seized.

Rural Task Force Sergeant Darren Walshaw told SFM News: "We work closely with other agencies and carried out this operation following concerns of vehicles being seen in the area which were transporting and tipping out waste illegally. We always listen to concerns from residents and I would urge anyone with similar issues to ensure they are reporting these to the relevant authorities so the appropriate action can be taken."

Prolific Thief Jailed After Assaulting Police

Prolific Thief Jailed After Assaulting Police

A prolific shoplifter, who assaulted three police officers, has been jailed just a day after he was arrested in Sittingbourne.

Albert Ramsden repeatedly stole groceries from a Co-op in Forbes Road, Faversham during a spate of offences between Wednesday 8th March and Sunday 12th March. On Wednesday (15th March) police officers detained Ramsden in Bell Road, Sittingbourne. During the arrest he assaulted three officers, by kicking, elbowing and also attempting to bite the constables.

Ramsden, of Crown Quay Lane, was charged with five thefts and three counts of assault on an emergency worker. He was also charged with five counts of breaching a criminal behaviour order.

The 22-year-old appeared before Medway Magistrates' Court on Thursday (16th March), where he pleaded guilty to all the charges. He was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment and ordered to pay compensation costs of £150.



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