Local News

Sittingbourne Celebrates Carnival In Style

Sittingbourne Celebrates Carnival In Style

Despite strong winds, and a forecast of rain that didn't materialise, a great time was had by all at this year's Sittingbourne Carnival on Saturday (22nd June).

The 106.9 SFM Roadshow (in association with Green Cabs) was on hand to entertain the crowds in the High Street from 10am and live acts appearing included local bands Motto, Standing Ovation, Complicated, Stage 3 and the Inca band along with performances from flautist Jenny Cazelly and Sammies Dance.

The event was a culmination of several local groups all working together, The Sittingbourne Carnival Court, The Sittingbourne Retail Association and 106.9 SFM (Sittingbourne Community Radio). The whole event was live on 106.9 SFM from 10am until 5pm, with presenters Kevin Field, Joshua Coupe and Roy Lambert all doing their programmes live from the High Street in the Roadshow van (pictured).

Pam Griggs, Chairperson of the Sittingbourne Carnival Court told SFM News that the total collected on the day was £431, which was up on last year and roughly matched 2011's figure, however larger amounts had been raised in years previous to 2011. She went on to add "the feedback we've had is very positive and lots of regular visiting court members have said that they thought that there were significantly more people out supporting the event this year".

There were 32 entries this year up 50% on last year's total of 23.

Pictured is the circus entertainer from the Forum Shopping Centre, who entertained the crowds in the centre and on the high street entrance throughout the day. Francesca Donovan, Centre Manager at The Forum Shopping Centre, told SFM News that "there was a great atmosphere at the centre on Saturday and we were really pleased to be able to support the community and local events. This was a great way to be part of the Sittingbourne Carnival and bring it to The Forum and I hope all of our shoppers enjoyed the day's activities."

For more pictures of the day please visit:- http://www.facebook.com/SittingbourneRetailAssociation or http://www.facebook.com/106.9SFM.

 

CCTV Released After Dunelm Mill "Bulk" Theft

Police have released a CCTV image of a woman they would like to speak to in connection with a bulk theft from the Dunelm Mill store on the Sittingbourne Retail Park.

The images were taken at around midday on Monday 17th June when over £500 of bedding was stolen from the store. Officers are not ruling out the possibility the theft is connected to a similar incident at around 10.30am the same day, when over £500 worth of bedding was stolen from the Dunelm store on London Road in Maidstone.

The suspect is described as being a woman, aged between 20 and 25-years-old of heavy build with red hair in a ponytail. She wore a black tracksuit and flip flops.

If you can help police with this investigation, please contact the Sittingbourne neighbourhood team on 01795 419116. An answerphone is in operation outside office hours. Alternatively you can contact Kent CrimeStoppers free (from any landline) and anonimously on 0800 555111, quoting reference XY/018688/13.

E-Fit Released Following Street Attack

E-Fit Released Following Street Attack

Detectives investigating a reported robbery in Sittingbourne have released an e-fit of a man they would like to speak to in connection with the incident.

The robbery is alleged to have taken place near the Iron Mountain building on Mill Way between 1.15am and 1.25am on Saturday 1st June. The victim, a 27-year-old local man, was walking home from Sittingbourne railway station when the suspect came up to him and demanded his money. When the victim tried to hand over the cash he had on him, the man swore at him, demanded his phone and pushed him to the ground, causing the victim to sustain grazes to his elbow and a cut to his lip. When the victim got back to his feet, the suspect again demanded his phone, threatening him with a knife. The victim handed over his phone and the offender ran away in the direction of a petrol station.

The suspect is described as a white male in his early 20s, of medium build and around 5'10" in height. He is thought to be left handed and was clean-shaven, wearing a plain red baseball cap, black jeans and a black puffa jacket.

Kent Police has now released an image of a man officers believe may have information that would help them with their enquiries.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Phil Pead, told SFM News "this was a particularly nasty incident that left the victim feeling extremely shaken up and in real fear for his safety. We will relentlessly pursue anyone who commits offences involving knives. We are working to identify and locate this male and bring him to justice".

Anybody who recognises the man in the e-fit, or who has information regarding the incident, is asked to call Kent Police on 101, quoting XY/16591/13, or they can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555111.

Investment Made In New Buses For Swale Routes

New Buses For Routes In Swale

Pictured left to right: Kevin Hawkins (Regional Commercial Director, Arriva Southern Counties), Councillor John Wright (Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Swale Borough Council) and Tom Pierpoint (Public Transport Team Leader, Kent County Council).

Local bus operator Arriva has invested almost half a million pounds in four brand-new buses for its services in the Sittingbourne and Faversham areas.

Three of the buses are for use on the route that links Oare, Faversham, Teynham and Sittingbourne with Maidstone. whilst the fourth is a smaller midibus that is now bringing new standards of comfort on the local service between Sittingbourne town centre, Murston and Great Easthall.

Built in Yorkshire by the Optare company, one of the UK's leading bus builders, all are of the easy-access design with a low-level entrance and no steps in the front half inside. Arriva's Regional Managing Director, Heath Williams, told SFM News that he was "delighted that we have been able to invest in new, fully-accessible and environmentally-friendly buses for our services in the Swale area. We are members of the Swale Quality Bus Partnership which aims to improve the quality of bus travel in the area and the new buses will give a more comfortable ride to our customers on Services 333 and 349 while helping to bring about improved air quality across the Borough. In spite of the economic climate we have so far this year invested nearly £8million in forty-seven new buses for our services in Kent and across the Thames Estuary in South Essex, this being a testament to our confidence in the future of public transport in the area."

Speaking on behalf of Swale Borough Council, Cllr John Wright, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and member of the Quality Bus Partnership, told SFM News "I and, most importantly, the travelling public welcome the investment by Arriva in their four new buses. New buses will help to encourage more people to use these services as an eco-friendly and cost effective way of travelling. I welcome this commitment by Arriva and look forward to continuing to work with them to improve services and infrastructure for buses throughout the borough for the benefit of Swale residents."

Full details of the times of Arriva's buses serving Swale can be found online at www.arrivabus.co.uk/south-east or by calling 0844 800 4411.

Timetable leaflets are available from local outlet,s such as libraries, council offices etc, or by calling the above number.

Two SCC Pupils Hospitalised After Snipeshill Accident

Two SCC Pupils Taken To Hospital After Snipeshill Accident

Two Sittingbourne Community College (SCC) Year 11 pupils, a boy and a girl of Latvian origin, were involved in a road collision earlier this afternoon (Thursday 16th May) on the A2 Canterbury Road at Snipeshill.

The boy had to be airlifted to King's College Hospital in London, after being hit by a car near the Flame Grill takeaway at around 3.30pm. The girl was treated at the scene before being taken to hospital by road ambulance. The road was closed, with traffic being diverted along Rectory Road and Murston Road, for several hours whilst Crash Investigation work was undertaken by Kent Police.

Sittingbourne Community College's Head of School, Neil Golding, told SFM News that the male pupil had been "transferred to the trauma unit for treatment and [that] two staff members went to the hospital with him". He went on to add "I will be communicating with my colleagues at the hospital and we will communicate with the school community tomorrow, letting them now about the accident and also the dangers of crossing the road. Our thoughts are very much with the pupils and their families and we hope they will soon recover".

 

Bird Keepers Uged To Be Vigilant After Two Thefts

Bird Keepers Uged To Be Vigilant After Two Thefts

Kent Police are warning bird keepers to remain vigilant after thefts from aviaries on Sheppey and Newington during the past week.

Officers were called to Well Road in Rushenden last Thursday (9th May) after it was reported that 19 birds were missing from an aviary at the rear of the property. The alleged theft of 14 mixed colour canaries, 4 red and gold rosella parakeets and a white cockatiel is believed to have taken place between 8pm on 8th May and 4.45am the following day.

Local officers are also investigating the theft of 34 birds from an aviary on High Street in Newington. During that incident 7 canaries, 13 finches, 6 cockatiels and 8 budgies were reported missing to police on 9th May, although the theft is believed to have been on Friday 12th April.

Investigating officer, PC Preston Frost, told SFM News "bird owners should be mindful of security measures available to them and to be vigilant at all times. You should invest in additional security measures such as sensor lighting or CCTV, which may deter these offenders, who are predominantly acting in the hours of darkness. I would also appeal for information about any of the crimes which have taken place, as where animals are concerned, it can be very distressing for their owners to lose them".

Anyone with any information can call PC Frost on 101, quoting reference XY/14125/13 for the Rushenden incident and XY/14427/13 for Newington. Alternatively they can contact Kent Crimestoppers free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Swale Teen Jailed For Stealing Copper

Swale Teen Jailed For Stealing Copper

A Sheppey teen has been jailed for 13 months for eight burglaries of Sittingbourne properties.

Bill Willett, 19, of Queensway, Sheerness, admitted eight counts of burglary for stealing copper from a number of flats on Attlee Way in Sittingbourne.

Willett, who was 18 when he committed the offences between 15th-18th May 2012, ripped copper water tanks and piping out of the walls of the properties, which were unoccupied at the time of burglaries, in Wyllie Court.

He was jailed for the offences at Maidstone Crown Court on 12th April.

Kent Police officers attending the scene found forensic evidence that included a footprint they later traced to one of Willett's trainers after viewing CCTV taken from a scrap metal dealer showed him unloading copper tanks and handing them over to be sold.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Iain Joyce of Kent Police, told SFM News "burglary of properties other than dwellings is sometimes thought of as a victimless crime - but they cost owners a lot of money and worry. We [Kent Police] will not tolerate offenders thinking they have the right to take anything that doesn't belong to them and we will continue to crack down on thefts of metal.
Willett was linked to this crime by evidence he left behind at the scene and hopefully now he'll have the chance to reflect on his actions behind bars".

Trio Jailed For Attempted Shop Burglary

Trio Jailed For Attempted Shop Burglary

Three men have been jailed for their part in an attempted burglary at a shop in Sittingbourne in the early hours of last Thursday (18th April) morning.

Kent Police were called at 2.40am to reports of a burglary in progress at the rear of the CEX store in The Forum Shopping Centre. The offenders were tracked on CCTV and police arrested three men in the High Street.

Jason Bowers, 41, of Pear Tree Walk in Newington and John Crittenden, 35, of Laburnum Place in Sittingbourne, were detained by officers, while Sean Reed, 40, also of Laburnum Place, was found hiding in a bin at the rear of a shop in the town.

All three men were arrested and charged with attempted burglary with intent to steal.

No items were stolen from the shop but damage was caused to a door at the back of the store.

Bowers, Crittenden and Reed all pleaded guilty at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday (19th April) and were each sentenced to 120 days in prison.

Investigating officer, Detective Constable Kathryn Lumsden-Earle, told SFM News "thanks to a joint effort between CCTV and response officers, we were able to locate and detain the offenders within minutes of the offence being reported. Your local Kent Police will continue to take a robust approach in order to protect property and businesses and will do everything in our power to arrest offenders and put them before the courts".

Norfolk Man Charged With Sittingbourne Robbery

Norfolk Man Charged With Sittingbourne Robbery

A 28-year-old man is set to face magistrates next month after having been charged for a robbery that was reported nearly three years ago.

Kent Police were called on Sunday 4th July 2010 to reports of a robbery on Park Road in Sittingbourne. The victim was believed to have been threatened with an extendable baton unless he handed over his wallet.

Matthew Coward of Berners Street in Norwich was arrested on 12th November last year and has been charged with robbery.

He is due to appear at Maidstone Magistrates' Court on Tuesday 29th May.

New Tesco Extra Store Plans Scrapped

New Tesco Extra Store Plans Scrapped

After its recent announcement that its full-year pre-tax profit had more than halved - the worst performance in the company's history following £2.4bn of writedowns following its decision to exit the US and its UK-driven profit warning last year - Tesco has confirmed that it is to cancel its proposed 100 store expansion across the UK including the new Tesco Extra development for Milton Creek here in Sittingbourne.

Tesco confirmed that it had taken the UK charge as a direct result of its decision to "move away from building big stores" and that the company will "now concentrate on [its] online and convenience shop businesses". This resulted in the company identifying more than 100 sites - the majority bought between the last 5 to 10 years - that it would no longer develop.

The decision has had a mixed reaction locally but Tesco's withdrawal from the proposed regeneration on land north of the railway line means that the following plans will no longer be going ahead:-

  • 11 new retail stores and a cafe - that we seen as being key to attract a wide range of new shops to the town.
  • A new state-of-the-art and energy-efficient Tesco Extra.
  • A new parking area with 1,188 spaces - serving both the Tesco store and the town centre generally.
  • The opportunity for new homes to be built on the site in the future.

Tony Weaver will be discussing how this may or may not have an effect on Sittingbourne's Regeneration Plans on "In The Bourne" all this week - Mon-Fri 11am-3pm on 106.9 SFM.

 

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