Local News

Vote For Oare In Green Flag People's Choice Awards

Vote For Oare In Green Flag People's Choice Awards

Local residents and visitors are being asked to go online and vote for Oare Gunpowder Works Country Park as their favourite park in the country.

The park was among 1,883 UK parks and green spaces that received a prestigious Green Flag Award in July - the mark of a quality park or green space.

That win means it is eligible for the People's Choice Award, where the public get to pick the 10 best parks in the country.

Swale Borough Council, which manages the park, is asking visitors and residents to get online and vote for Oare.

Over the past few years, the council has worked with the Friends of Oare Gunpowder Works to help improve the park, with work being done to improve habitats and new and improved paths through the park.

Cllr David Simmons, cabinet member for environment and rural affairs at the council, told SFM: "Oare Gunpowder Works Country Park is a well-loved park that has something to offer everyone. To the people that use it, it is a wonderful place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, relax among the wildlife and discover some local history. It has become one of our most loved parks and I strongly I encourage people to vote to show how much the park means to them."

Paul Todd, Green Flag Award manager told SFM News: "This year 1,883 parks and green spaces met the tough standards demanded by our Green Flag Award Judges but we want to know which parks the UK public love the most. The People's Choice award is a chance to show how much your favourite park means to you. If it's worth shouting about, make your voice heard and vote now."

A spokesperson for The Friends of Oare Gunpowder Works told SFM News: "We are proud to support both the council and the people who use and enjoy the country park. It is a space where local people and visitors can relax, enjoy the site and the wildlife, in a safe and peaceful environment. To continue to receive the Green Flag awards is great feedback, but to be voted in the top ten would be wonderful."

Voting opened on 1st September and closes 30th September, with the top 10 sites being announced on 16th October.

To vote, click here to go the park's page on the Green Flag Award website and click the voting button once there. If you want to encourage others to get involved too, through social media, Swale Borough Council suggest that you use the hashtag #PeoplesChoice.


Appeal For Witnesses To Sittingbourne Assault

Appeal For Witnesses To Sittingbourne Assault

Officers, investigating an assault in Sittingbourne, have released an image of a van driven by a motorist they would like to talk to.

The incident is believed to have happened between 11:45am and 11.50am on Friday 3rd August in Dover Street, Sittingbourne.

The victim, a man in his 20's, was driving a yellow Luton van when another driver overtook him by driving on the wrong side of the road.

Both the victim and suspect become stuck in single file traffic with a taxi between them when the suspect started to make hand gestures towards the victim.

The suspect then got out of his van and started shouting at the victim. Despite the victim saying he did not want any confrontation the suspect leant into his van and is reported to have put his hands around his neck before tightening his grip.

The suspect also made threats to hurt the victim before he let go of him and returned to his van and drove away.

The suspect is described as white, aged between 25-35 years old, around 5ft 10ins with brown hair. He had two moles on one side of his face and was of a medium build and was wearing a white vest top.

The white van driven by the suspect had distinctive alloys and also had a roof rack with three ladders secured on top of one another.

Anyone who believes they know the identity of the suspect or who witnessed the incident is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting crime reference XY/48259/18.

Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crime Stoppers in Kent free (from any landline) and anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Police Offer Safety Advice To Faversham Car Owners

Police Offer Safety Advice To Faversham Car Owners

Kent Police are reminding car owners in Faversham of some crime prevention advice following reports of 4X4 vehicles being targeted by thieves.

Between May and August a number of tail lights have been reported to have been stolen from vehicles parked across the town, with commercial premises and residential addresses being targeted.

It appears to be specific to Land Rover Discovery models, mostly registered after 2010, and at present no arrests have been made but officers from the Swale Community Safety Unit are conducting ongoing enquiries into the incidents.

Anyone with information is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting XY/27867/18.

Alternatively, you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111.

There are a number of steps car owners can take to help keep their vehicles safe, including:

• Parking in a garage, if one is available.
• Parking in a secure car park or well-lit location whenever possible.
• Put a small security mark on your tail lights which can help police track the owner if recovered.


It's A-Level Results Day Here In Sittingbourne

It's A-Level Results Day Here In Sittingbourne

Hundreds of sixth form students from Borden Grammar, Fulston Manor, Highsted, Sittingbourne Community College and Westlands picked up their A Level results earlier today.

Nationally A-level students have been awarded the highest proportion of As and A*s since 2012, amid changes toughening the exams in England. Some 26.4% of exams have been awarded these top grades this year - but the proportion gaining A* to C dropped slightly to 78.4% from 79% last year.

England's exams regulator has said the results show a steady national picture at a time of significant change. Overall, 97.6% of A-level entries were awarded A* to E grades.

Examiners dismissed the rise in top grades as "extremely marginal", while Ofqual has underlined that results have remained steady - in 2012, for example, 26.6% of exams were awarded As and A*s and in 2017, 26.3% achieved these top grades.

Local results were:-

⦿ BORDEN GRAMMAR: It was another year of positive results for the school with Year 13 students achieving some of the best grades the school has ever had.

A number of students achieved three or more A* and A grades among their results. They were Dominic Byrne, Joshua Diddams, Matthew Doria, Jack Edwards, Luke Friend, Scott Hazell, Jonathan Idowu, Luke Newcombe, Samuel O'Brien, Thomas Saunders and Connor Wade.

Ben Yardley was the best performer with an A*, 2 x As and a B and he's due to take up a place at Worcester College at Oxford University to study History.

⦿ FULSTON MANOR: More than 60 students have been offered places at universities. Among the top performers were Lauren Rogers (3 x A's and 1 C) and is off to study Politics at Newcastle University, Danielle Cross (1 x A, 2 x B's and a D) who plans to do Anthropology at Durham University and Rhiannon England (2 x B's and a D) who will be doing Astronomy, Space Science and Astrophysics at the University of Kent.

⦿ HIGHSTED GRAMMAR: Tehti Patel got an A* in Geography, her extended project and 3 x A's in Biology, Chemistry and French and plans to go to King's College to study Medicine. Maria Doria, Anna Kent and Sian Lo all achieved 3 x A*'s and 1 x A each.

⦿ SITTINGBOURNE COMMUNITY COLLEGE and ⦿ WESTLANDS SECONDARY: Students at Westlands School and Sittingbourne Community College now study under the joint banner of Swale Sixth Form across three sites. Out of the 108 exam takers, 99 of them achieved at least one A* to C. Their top performer, Michael Warman, achieved 3 x A*'s and a C in Business, Finance and History in the extended project. He will be off to the University of Kent where he will be studying Politics And International Relations. Fellow student Max Pearn got a double A* award in Engineering, along with Maths and Physics and will be taking up employment as a Robotics Technician at an online food retailer.

Early Morning Collision Closes Road

Early Morning Collision Closes Road

The A2500 Lower Road, in Minster-On-Sea on the Isle Of Sheppey, will be CLOSED until 1.00pm this afternoon (Thursday 16th August) following a collision earlier on this morning.

The road is closed, in both directions, between the Cowstead Corner Roundabout and Thistle Hill Way following the head-on car crash between a silver Skoda Fabia and a red Toyota Hilux at around 4.00am.

The driver of the Skoda, a man in his 60s, was cut out of the vehicle by crews from the Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS) using hydraulic equipment and was driven by ambulance to a London hospital with what Kent Police describe as "serious injuries".

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder In Kemsley

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Murder In Kemsley

Detectives from the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate have begun an investigation after the body of a woman was found at a home in Kemsley.

Officers attended the property, in Hurst Lane, following a report received just after midnight earlier today (Tuesday 31st July) and a 64-year-old woman was found deceased at the scene.

A 66-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and is currently at a London hospital having also been found injured.

The two individuals were known to each other and officers are not looking for anyone else in connection with the incident.



Crews Tackle Warden Bay Cornfield Fire

Crews Tackle Warden Bay Cornfield Fire

Stock Picture

Kent Fire And Rescue Service (KFRS) crews have been dealing with a fire in a field of around 1000 square metres of standing and cut corn, near Warden Bay Road in Leysdown.

The call was received shortly before 11am this morning (Friday 27th July) and firefighters have been tackling the fire using breathing apparatus.

Four fire engines were initially in attendance at the incident, though has now been reduced to two engines.

Crews have been working with the landowner to create fire breaks to prevent further fire spread.

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Supplying Class A Drugs

Man Arrested On Suspicion Of Supplying Class A Drugs

Officers from the Swale Local Policing Team have arrested a man on suspicion of supplying class A drugs, after they became suspicious of a car parked in a layby at around 16:45pm on Tuesday (24th July) afternoon.

The police constables were on a routine patrol and travelling towards Sittingbourne on the A249 when they became suspicious of the vehicle, which was on the other side of the carriageway.

The officers turned off the A249 and re-joined to travel in the opposite direction. They then pulled into the layby, close to the Sheppey Crossing, and spoke with the occupant of the vehicle.

A search then uncovered a quantity of suspected cocaine and a 37-year-old man from Sittingbourne was arrested on suspicion of possessing a class A drug with intent to supply.

He has since been released pending further enquiries.

Sittingbourne 'Fly Tipper' Gets Hefty Fine

Sittingbourne 'Fly Tipper' Gets Hefty Fine

A Sittingbourne man is almost £1,000 out of pocket after waste, including pallets and building waste were found dumped.

Barry Daynes, aged 30 and of Swanstree Avenue, was prosecuted by Swale Borough Council after waste was dumped at Rawlings Street, Milstead.

Council officers traced the waste back to Mr Daynes who, when asked to help explain how it got there, failed to assist the council with its enquiries.

As there were no witnesses to the fly-tipping, and no further information about how it got there, the council decided to prosecute Mr Daynes for failing in his duty of care to make sure his waste was handled responsibly.

Mr Daynes pleaded guilty to a charge under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and was fined £400, and ordered to pay £420 costs, £120 in compensation and a victim surcharge of £40.

Cllr David Simmons, Cabinet Member for Environment and Rural Affairs at the council, told SFM News: "Householders have a duty of care to make sure whoever is taking waste away will dispose of it properly. If someone doesn't help us to identify who dumped their waste, we still can - and clearly will - take appropriate legal action. We need people to understand that their waste is their responsibility. Anyone offering to take it away has to be registered to carry waste, or it could end up fly-tipped, and you could be prosecuted for failing to take reasonable steps to prevent it."

To check whether someone is licenced to carry waste you can visit the Environment Agency website or call 03708 506506.

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

Police Property Fund Makes Donation To Local School

Police Property Fund Makes Donation To Local School

A Sittingbourne Parent and Teachers Association has received a cash boost from the Kent Police Property Fund.

The Tunstall Primary School PTA received the donation at it's summer fete, which took place on Saturday 7th July.

The funds, £400 in total, were handed over by PCSO Ryan Atherton and will be used to fund new playground equipment at the school.

PCSO Atherton told SFM News: "the PTA for Tunstall Primary School does an excellent job promoting the welfare and providing activities for its pupils. I am pleased to be able to present them with this money, which I know will be put to good use."

The Kent Police Property Fund is made up of the proceeds from the sale, at auction, of unclaimed property and items which have been seized during police operations. Proceeds from the auctions are regularly distributed to local charities and voluntary groups.

More information on the Kent Police Property fund can be found here: https://www.kent.police.uk/advice/community-support/kent-police-property-fund.


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