Local News

Met Office Issue Yellow Warning For Snow And Ice

Met Office Issue Yellow Warning For Snow And Ice

The Met Office have issued a Yellow Warning regarding a band of heavy snow that may bring disruption, as it moves eastwards across the county, tomorrow (Saturday 16th January).

They warn that people should prepare for:

  • Possible delays or cancellations to rail and air travel
  • Possible travel delays on roads stranding some vehicles and passengers
  • Some rural communities could become cut off
  • Power cuts may occur and other services, such as mobile phone coverage, may be affected

Stay tuned to 106.9 SFM for the latest.

Fines Issued During First Weekend Of Lockdown 3

Fines Issued During First Weekend Of Lockdown 3

Kent Police officers have issued 30 fines across the county over the weekend, which included breaches at the ports, people failing to isolate, gatherings outside and indoors and unnecessary trips into the county.

Locally on Saturday (9th January) a woman, in Regis Crescent, was fined £200 for leaving her home to visit someone outside of her bubble and household and another woman was fined £200 for being outside of her home without a valid reason at Sittingbourne Railway Station.

On Sunday (10th January) a man was fined £200 for being out, on his way to friends and in breach of the restrictions with no valid reason in Sittingbourne.

Kent Police Assistant Chief Constable, Claire Nix, told SFM News: "The vast majority of Kent residents continue to do the right thing and are following the rules, helping to protect the NHS and ultimately save lives. Unfortunately, there are still some people who think it is acceptable to throw parties, gather outside in large numbers or commit other serious breaches of Covid-19 regulations. Holidays within the UK and abroad are also prohibited unless for permitted reasons and, despite this advice, 7 people attempted to cross the Channel at the weekend without valid reasons and were fined as a result.

"The Government has been very clear that the best way to protect everyone is to stay at home as part of this third national lockdown and no one should be attempting holidays or breaching other rules, not just for their own protection but to prevent the spread of the virus. I am urging all Kent residents to visit the government website and know what is acceptable at this time. Anyone who is permitted to travel abroad should also obtain a negative Covid-19 test prior to departure. Anyone who turns up at the ports without one will also be turned away.

"It is also unacceptable that officers around the county are still finding some individuals organising or attending house parties with no regard for the seriousness of this pandemic.

"In these situations we will have no choice but to take enforcement action. People doing this are not only putting their own lives at risk but that of anyone they meet, some of whom will be extremely vulnerable. Anyone who flagrantly or repeatedly breaks the rules at a time when there is so much pressure on Kent’s health services should be left in no doubt that action will be taken against them."

Council Replaces Fleet With New Electric Vehicles

Council Replaces Fleet With New Electric Vehicles

Swale Borough Council say that they will now save more than 30 tonnes of carbon every year with a fleet of nine new electric vehicles.

The zero-emission vehicles "will help to improve the air quality in Swale". The council’s say that their fleet "regularly travels though the borough’s air quality management areas (AQMAs) where vehicle pollution contributes to poor air quality".

The council’s fleet of diesel vans has been replaced with nine Nissan Env200 vans that will be charged at the Swale House council offices in Sittingbourne via eight new EV chargers. Three environmental warden vans, three green space vans, two dog warden vans and a parking services van are now out on the road alongside the Mayor’s car which was upgraded to an electric vehicle in December.

The new electric vans join the two Nissan Leaf electric cars already used by the council’s civil enforcement team.

Cllr Tim Valentine, cabinet member for the environment at the council, told SFM News:  “We’re delighted to reach this milestone. Replacing the council fleet with electric vehicles is part of our Climate and Ecological Emergency Action Plan. It will help us reduce our carbon emissions and improve the air quality in Swale. Each vehicle saves 3.38 tonnes of carbon every year, so the new fleet will save more than 30 tonnes of carbon and help us tackle climate change. The new vehicles will emit no nitrogen dioxide which causes poor air quality in our AQMAs along the A2. Not only will we save a huge amount of carbon, but we’ll also make long-term cost savings thanks to the lower running and maintenance costs of the electric vehicles. We hope our example can show local firms that the benefits of going electric are not only environmental but will help to reduce the costs of running vehicles.”

For more information on air quality around the Swale borough please visit: www.swale.gov.uk/air-quality.

Details Of Local COVID-19 Testing And Vaccinations

Details Of Local COVID-19 Testing And Vaccinations

The Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) have confirmed that COVID-19 vaccinations will be given to people in Sittingbourne from this coming Saturday (16th January).

Age UK's Heather House Day Centre, on the Avenue of Remembrance, will be providing vaccinations for: The Chestnuts Surgery, London Road Medical Centre, The Memorial Medical Centre, Grovehurst Surgery, Iwade Health Centre, The Meads Medical Practice, Milton Regis Surgery, The Surgery in Teynham and The Lakeside Medical Centre.

The CCG have advised that people will be contacted when the vaccine is available for them and are asking residents not to phone GP surgeries, the CCG, or any other NHS service with general queries about when they will be able to get the vaccine.

Cllr Roger Truelove, Leader of Swale Borough Council, told SFM News: "This will be a great relief to local people, many of whom have been contacting me in recent weeks concerned about the lack of any service in our town. The NHS concern, here and elsewhere, was that the fragile Pfizer vaccine would have to be dispensed at one central site, not around several GP surgeries. Swale Borough Council met with the NHS before Christmas and a suitable site was agreed and a prospective start date. As a Council we have been anxious to inform the public, to allay their natural anxiety. We have been continually pressing for progress as has the local MP. However, the NHS have put an embargo on information until all aspects of the arrangements were fully confirmed. In due course, the Astra/Zeneca Oxford vaccine will come on stream and this can be administered at a number of sites, so we look forward to acceleration as the Government seeks to reach its ambitious target. The management of this, including the commissioning of sites, will be in the hands of the NHS.”

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT: https://www.kentandmedwayccg.nhs.uk/your-health/coronavirus/covid19vaccine

A new Asymptomatic (symptom-free) Test Centre has opened at The Kemsley Community Centre, Ridham Avenue, Kemsley, Sittingbourne ME10 2SF

FOR MORE INFORMATION PLEASE VISIT: https://kcc.healthit.org.uk/.


UK Inquest Concludes Carl Davies Was Murdered

UK Inquest Concludes Carl Davies Was Murdered

An inquest has found the death of former Sittingbourne teacher, Carl Davies, whose body was found on an Indian Ocean island almost 10 years ago, was "unlawful killing".

The coroner ruled today (Wednesday 6th January) that  the cause of death was "serious cranial injuries" following a “vicious assault” on the 33-year-old, whose body was found in a storm drain near Lambert Barracks on the Island Of Reunion on the morning of Wednesday 9th November 2011.

The inquest heard how Carl, of Harrier Drive in Sittingbourne, had completed tours of both Northern Ireland and Iraq whilst in the British Arm and has been tipped for a commander's role before venturing into teaching.

Concluding the inquest coroner Patricia Harding said: "Carl was subject to a vicious assault, with the assault carried out by a blunt instrument and screwdriver. Sadly we will never fully know what happened to poor Carl Davies on that fateful night. I want to the family to know how very sorry I am for their loss."

Speaking to SFM News after the conclusion Carl's father, Andy Davies, emotionally thanked the continued work of Kent Police saying: "I just want to express our gratitude and thanks to them for their work. When everyone else around us was failing they remained excellent and professional at all times."

The verdict concludes investigations here but the family are still campaign for justice on Reunion Island following two previous criminal trials. 

For more information on their campaign for justice please click the You Tube links below:-

Sittingbourne Prepares For National Lockdown

Sittingbourne Prepares For National Lockdown

As the new fast coronavirus testing station opened at Kemsley Community Centre on Ridham Avenue in Kemsley (ME10 2SF), to help bring down the infection rates in the Sittingbourne area the Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the third National Lockdown.

Today's figures were announced at 4pm today (Tuesday 5th January) and appear above.

Stay tuned to 106.9 SFM for all the information you need 24 hours a day and remember to #StayAtHome and #ProtectThe NHS and to #SaveLives.

Appeal After Teenage Boy Assaulted In Milton Regis

Appeal After Teenage Boy Assaulted In Sittingbourne

Kent Police are looking for information following a report that a teenage boy was assaulted in Milton Regis in late November.

Police confirmed today (Tuesday 29th December) that between 7.30pm and 8.00pm on Monday 30th November a group of up to 11 young people were reported to have assaulted the victim in Milton Recreation Ground. The boy was subsequently taken to a local hospital to receive treatment for facial injuries.

Officers have carried out numerous enquiries since the incident, including checking for CCTV, speaking with potential witnesses and completing house to house checks.

A 16-year-old boy from Sittingbourne has also been interviewed, non-custodially, in connection with the incident but officers believe there are witnesses who will have additional information, or CCTV that covers the surrounding area, and would like to hear from them.

Anyone with any information is asked to call Kent Police on 01795 419119 quoting 46/213956/20.

Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers in Kent anonymously on 0800 555 111 or complete the online form at https://crimestoppers-uk.org.

Large Blaze Being Tackled At Recycling Centre

Large Blaze Being Tackled At Recycling Centre

Crews remain at the scene of a fire at an industrial premises on Gas Road in Milton Regis. 
The Kent Fire & Rescue Service (KFRS) told SFM News that: " steady progress is being made to extinguish the fire, with crews using hose reel jets to tackle the flames". 
People living and working in the Kemsley / Milton Regis area are being asked to keep their windows and doors closed, due to large amounts of smoke in the area. 
The KFRS confirmed that they were called to the fire at the Sweeep Kuusakoski centre on Gas Road at around 08:40am this morning (Sunday 27th December).
Three fire engines were initially sent to the scene and crews are continuing their work to extinguish the fire. 

Sweeep's Commercial Manager, Justin Greenaway,​ confirmed to SFM News that "the fire had taken place in a bunker of waste electronics material" at the premises.

Stay tuned to 106.9 SFM for the latest.

Environment Agency Issue Flood Alert

Environment Agency Issue Flood Alert

The Environment Agency has issued a Flood Alert due to the high tide forecast for this afternoon (Tuesday 15th December).

The highest tide level is expected to be around 12:40pm with flooding possible two hours either side of this time.

The Environment Aganecy confirmed that they "were monitoring the situation, though flooding to properties is not expected. Our incident response staff are checking our defences and structures and are prepared to respond if required.".

Areas of concern include Faversham and Conyer and they advise that people should be careful along beaches, promenades, coastal footpaths and roads as large waves and sea spray could be dangerous.

Coastal conditions are forecast to improve following this tide and no further alerts are expected to be issued in the coming days.

For those who need it, the forecast total water height at Sheerness will be at 12:38pm and the afternoon tide is 3.47m AOD.

Police Warning Following Spate Of Delivery Van Thefts

Police Warning Following Spate Of Delivery Van Thefts

Delivery drivers working around the county in the run-up to Christmas are being warned about a spike in van thefts and assaults and are being given safety advice by Kent Police.

Since the beginning of November there have been nine reports concerning either delivery drivers who have been assaulted or vans stolen in Ashford, Dartford, Sevenoaks, Rochester, Sittingbourne and Gillingham.

Here in Sittingbourne on Thursday 19th November a van was stolen from Albany Road at around 4:00pm. The driver heard the van starting up and tried to stop the suspect. He was injured as the suspect drove away. The van had around 50 parcels inside (Crime Ref: 46/207029/20).

Kent Police are investigating all the reports across the county and it is unknown, at this stage, whether the offences are linked. Businesses, partner agencies and hauliers are being warned about the issue and offered safety advice to pass on to their drivers to ensure they remain as protected as possible and stay vigilant to the offending.

The advice includes:

  • If you spot a suspicious vehicle following you, do not get out of your car or van, keep the doors locked, keep moving and call 999.
  • Agree a delivery plan with your employer or family member and keep in touch regularly.
  • Consider alternative routes to avoid always travelling on the same roads.
  • Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged.
  • If something does not feel right, don’t make the delivery and call your employer.
  • Avoid areas that are not well lit, use a torch and always lock your vehicle – it only takes a minute for a thief to get into your van and take goods.
  • Consider tinted windows to ensure passers-by can’t see what is inside your vehicle.
  • Consider installing a tracker to assist in recovering your vehicle if it does get stolen.

Superintendent Pete Steenhuis, from Kent Police, told SFM News: ‘We have officers paying particular attention to this type of offending and are working with businesses to warn as many drivers as we can and offer advice to help keep them safe. It is clear that criminals are willing to be violent in order to get their hands on vans and parcels and we would ask everyone to be vigilant as Christmas approaches, when deliveries are busier than usual. Whilst officers around the county investigate these separate incidents, it is important drivers take all the necessary steps available to secure their vehicles and report anything suspicious to us straight away."

Police are urging people to be mindful of such incidents, stay alert and if you are expecting a delivery and see something suspicious to report the details to them immediately. Any information, no matter how seemingly insignificant, could be of great help in order to identify the offenders.

Anyone who witnessed any of these incidents or has information that could assist in any of the investigations is urged to call 01795 419119 quoting the reference shown above.


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