FLYING START FOR YEAR TWO OF DEAL HOP FARM

Deal’s own community hop growing project – the Deal Hop Farm – has added over 50 new members in a little over a week. Hop Farm enthusiast Steve Wakeford said: “We have had another fantastic response to our second season launch with over 50 new members since February 8. We now have 180 sites with over 300 people involved. This is the time plant hops and we are open for new members to join us."

The project organisers say that hops can be easily grown in back gardens and even in containers. They need plenty of sunshine, a well drained soil, shelter from the wind and something to support them. Expert advice is available if needed. The hops are harvested on a single day in September - ready to head for the brewery and conversion into a popular local ale.

Steve emphasised the need to get the hops planted by Easter, making early March the deadline for orders for hop plants. The first year cost is £20 which includes a hop plant (rhizome) and a starter kit. There will be information and rhizomes stalls at the Landmark Garden, Deal High Street, every Saturday from 24 February to 17 March. Membership forms and leaflets are available at the Lighthouse, The Green Berry, The Just Reproach, The Freed Man, the Landmark Centre, The Astor, Golf Road Centre, Deal town hall and online at the DealHopFarm facebook group.  (February 19, 2018)

 
"TON-UP" BEACH CLEAN
Deal beach clean on 18 February 2018 (photo: Steve Wakeford)

Over 100 people turned up to help local "green" group DealWithIt members clear litter and junk off part of Deal's beach on Sunday (18 February). Organiser Wendy Boorman, said: “For the first time, since we started the community beach cleans ten years ago, we had over a 100 people out on the beach clean. We are totally amazed by the response of the community. Deal really wants to do something about plastic, cares about its beach and enjoys being on it ... especially on a glorious February morning."

The enthusiastic volunteers collected over 70 bags and 47kilos of rubbish - with details recorded for the ongoing survey by the Marine Conservation Society. The haul included a substantial quantity of the small plastics items and fragments doing serious damage to the world's oceans and sea life. The next organised beach clean is on Walmer Beach on Sunday 4 March, starting from the Sea Café on Walmer Green at 9.30am.

DealWithIt has also launched a campaign to make Deal Plastic Free. It is asking all businesses, local authorities, groups and individuals to ditch at least three items of single use plastic over the next three months. The campaign is part of the Plastic Free Coastlines initiative around the UK started by the Surfers Against Sewage environmental group. For more details, see facebook or .  (February 19, 2018)

 
NATIONAL AWARD FOR WALMER PARISH COUNCIL
Walmer Parish Council receives a Local Councils Award.

Walmer Parish Council has been recognised as one of the best parish councils in Kent. On Wednesday 7 February, parish council chairman Cllr Pat Heath received a prestigious Local Council Award from Mr Terry Martin, the chief executive of the Kent Association of Local Councils (KAPC). The national award recognises the parish council's excellent management, its close involvement with the community and its enthusiasm for seeking opportunities to improve and develop.

Cllr Heath said he was delighted to accept the award. Walmer was one of only twelve town and parish councils out of a total of 316 in Kent to receive it. He paid tribute to the council's staff and elected members, saying: "It is testament to the hard work, energy and enthusiasm of our parish clerk Kirsty Holroyd and her colleagues along with the councillors and proves our commitment to the local community."

The council provides a range of services including management of open spaces at Hawkshill Freedown, York and Albany Close, the Drill Field and all weather pitch in Cornwall Road and allotments at Campbell Road. As well as considering more than 120 planning applications each year, the council also organises the Brocante, Kites on the Beach, Picnic on the Green and Walmer in Bloom. The council's finances are carefully monitored and fully audited with current budgets and accounts available for public inspection.

Presenting the award at the council's office on The Strand, KAPC chief executive Terry Martin said: “Walmer Parish Council and other local councils like it, are at the front line of the government’s localism agenda and are doing as much as they can to deliver services whilst being efficient and cost-effective. We congratulate them on their efforts and encourage other local councils to follow their example by striving to achieve the award too.”  (February 15, 2018)

 

IT'S "ALL GO" FOR DEAL'S ENVIRONMENTAL CAMPAIGNERS

February is proving a really busy month for Deal's local "green" group. Following a successful launch of their Deal Hop Farm 2018 project, members of DealWithIt will be running a "Seedy Saturday" plant and seed swap session on Saturday (17 February) and supporting a clean up on Deal beach on Sunday the 18th. The group is also working with Kingsdown Environmental Group to encourage local action on the national REfill project which is calling for more public access to drinking water and easy use of refillable containers rather than disposable plastics bottles.

The "Seedy Saturday" session is at the Landmark Centre Garden on Deal High Street from 11am to 1pm. People are invited to bring or donate seeds from last season and swap for different ones to try this year. There will also be stalls from Walmer WI, Deal SouthEast in Bloom, Deal Hop Farm and The Bay Trust; plus music provided by the Landmark Uke Club.

The Deal Beach Clean starts from Deal Pier entrance at 9.30am. Organised on behalf of the Marine Conservation Society, regular and new volunteers are invited to help remove and record junk from the local beach. Equipment and collection bags are provided. There's another Beach Clean on Sunday 4 March – this time at Walmer. As part of the Great British Spring Clean, volunteers are being invited to meet up at the Sea Café on Walmer Green at 9.30am. For more details, see the DealWithIt website.  (February 12, 2018)

 

TOWN'S BID FOR FLORAL HONOURS

Deal has, once again, been selected as a finalist in the Royal Horticultural Society's Britain in Bloom competition. The list of UK Finalists for 2018 has Deal entered in the SouthEast Coastal (population over 12,000) category. Last year Deal gained a Silver Gilt award - just short of the top Gold Award achieved by Newquay.

Now in its 54th year, the Britain in Bloom competition encourages cities, towns and villages to take action to improve their local environment. Judging will take place in August. For more details see the RHS website.  (February 12, 2018)

 

KCC BUS SERVICES - UPDATE

Kent County Council has scrapped its proposal to cull dozens of vital bus services. The decision follows pressure from angry bus users and the prospect of extra cash through central government allowing higher council tax levies and local retention of business rates. It means that original plans to cut £2¼million from its budget for subsidising bus travel have been reduced to £450,000.

The 78 bus routes that were under threat will continue to run and county councillors have promised to speak to local people and district and parish councils about bus services and possible solutions to little used services and how they operate.    (January 31, 2018)

 
KCC BUS SERVICES AT RISK

Up to 78 bus services, subsidised by Kent County Council, could be reduced or axed if proposals for next year's KCC budget are approved. The changes to the services, which are not commercially viable and described as Socially Necessary Bus Services (SNBS), could save the cash-strapped council £4million over the coming two years.

In the Dover and Deal area, the following services are under threat:

  • 82, 82A Deal - Kingsdown;
  • 93 Dover – Martin;
  • 541/542/544 Deal - Dover - Sandwich and Canterbury;
  • 60, 61, 61A Aycliffe - Whitfield - Dover - Whitfield;
  • 61, 63 Whitfield - Aycliffe;
  • 111 Ashford - Dover

Members of the KCC's Environment and Transport Cabinet Committee agreed on Thursday 30 November to hold a public consultation on the proposed changes. Depending on the outcome, it is expected any changes would start in September. The KCC's "Bus Funding Reduction Consultation" will run from Wednesday 17 January to Wednesday 28 March. For details, click here.

News of the threat to the council funded bus services has provoked a strong reaction from the public with several petitions being launched. The Kent Live online news service has a "Save Our Buses" petition here.
Whilst the 38degrees website has a campaign demanding that the county council does not follow through on the proposals here.  (December 3, 2017)

 

BOOST FOR LOCAL COMMUNITY GROUPS' WORK

Six Deal and Walmer clubs and community groups have received cash help in Dover District Council's latest round of Neighbourhood Forum Community Grants. They, along with 22 other groups across the district, share a total of £22,980 allocated by a panel of district councillors. To bid for a grant, groups have to put forward projects that can benefit their local area. Up to £1,000 is available for each successful application.

The local Deal and Walmer grants go to:

  •  Dover District Volunteer Centre (£950.43)
  •  Royal Marine Heritage Trails (£1,000)
  •  2nd Deal Scouts (£1,000)
  •  The Astor Community Arts Trust (£970)
  •  Deal and Walmer Handelian Choral Society (£150)
  •  Deal Town Football Club (£1,000)
  (November 24, 2017)
 

GREEN LIGHT FOR DEAL PIER IMPROVEMENTS

Dover District Council has announced a £500,000 refurbishment of Deal Pier - as the popular local amenity celebrates its Diamond Anniversary. Works are set to include resurfacing the pier's walkway, replacing all the timber seating and repairs to the pier's concrete structure. It is intended that work on the resurfacing and seating will begin in the spring of 2018 - with the aim of maintaining public access as much as possible throughout the project. Structural works are expected to start before the end of the year.

Deal has had a pier since the late 1800s, with the current 305m long pier opened on 19 November 1957 by HRH Prince Philip. For more on the history of Deal Pier see the DealWeb local history pages at www.dealweb.org.uk/history-deal/dealpier.html.  (November 14, 2017)

 

COMING EVENTS IN DEAL AND WALMER - for the best local guide CLICK HERE.

 
This page was updated on February 19, 2018