CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Walmer Parish Council is encouraging Walmer residents and businesses to help illuminate the dark winter nights by entering its annual Christmas Lights Competition. With the event now in its sixteenth year, judges will be touring the parish on Monday 17 December, looking for the most eye-catching and colourful displays.

The winning residential property receives a cup and there are certificates for the two runners up. The winner of the business category gains the overall business accolade. Individual winners will be notified as soon as possible after the judging, and the results will be announced just before Christmas. To nominate your own or a neighbour’s house or local business, contact Sarah Plews, the assistant clerk at the parish council office, on 01304 362363.   (December 5, 2018)

 
FUNDING ADVICE FOR CHARITIES AND COMMUNITY GROUPS

Expert advice for charities, voluntary and community groups and social enterprises needing support and funding for their work and new projects will be on offer at a major event in December at Discovery Park, Sandwich. Organised by Kent's Funding For All service, the Kent and Medway Funding Fair on Monday 10 December will feature seminars from funding and support organisations and one-to-one sessions with Funding For All's expert advisors. Plus there's a "market place" with representatives from national and local grant providers and enterprises that have already benefited from their help.

More details of the one-day event, which includes lunch, all-day tea and coffee and an optional networking breakfast for early birds, are available on the Funding For All website. Places are limited, so early booking is recommended.   (September 30, 2018)

 

STATION VOLUNTEERS "POSITIVE" MEETING WITH RAIL BOSSES

Members of the Deal With It environmental campaign group are pressing for more improvements to the area around Deal rail station. Having managed an edible garden on the platforms since 2012 and come together four times in the last three months to blitz rubbish at the station, they consider more could be done. In a meeting on Thursday (27 September) with local representatives from both National Rail, Southeastern and the adjacent Sainsbury's supermarket they raised a number of concerns:

  • Rubbish on the tracks. National Rail only clean the tracks twice a year, with the next one due on 9 November. It was suggested this could be more often if, when lines are closed for engineering, it's used as an opportunity to clear the tracks.
  • Bins at the Station. SouthEastern have promised to look at putting more seagull-proof bins into the station and more cigarette bins by the entrances.
  • Lighting on the Ramsgate side to London Road path. Several passengers have said how unsafe they feel in the darker evenings and the rail organisations have agreed to consider this.
  • The triangle of scrub (the old station master's house location) to bridge/London Road. Action needed to clear rubbish and overgrown brambles affecting the platforms and walk way.
  • Anti-social behaviour at the station.
  • Supporting a bid to upgrade the track bridge to a full disabled access one.

The clean-up team also made a plea for upgrading the rail station status as this would have a beneficial effect on on staffing levels and coverage times. A spokesman for the volunteers said: "It was a really positive meeting. The Station is increasingly the town's gateway and, sadly, the first impression of the town is not always good." The group's next Deal station clean-up is on Thursday 11 October and new helpers are very welcome."   (September 30, 2018)

 

THUMBS UP FOR DEAL'S NEW GREEN ALE

The first results from the second year of hop growing by members of the Deal Hop Farm are appearing in local pubs. Bottles of "Hopping M.A.D - Made Around Deal" green hop beer, brewed by the Ripple Steam Brewery, are now starting to appear in the local pubs. Among the first are The Farrier in Deal, the Freed Man at Upper Walmer, The Plough in Ripple and Crabble Mill in Dover.

Among the first to sample the new brew are Jean Fulcher who says: "Sampled the fruits of everyone’s labours at the Freed Man yesterday - tasted great!" and Rose Dowd who tried Hopping MAD at the Crabble Mill and reports: "it was going down well with the folk club there".   (September 29, 2018)

 

BLOOMING SUCCESS!

It's been a great year for Deal and Walmer in the 2018 South and South East In Bloom Awards. Featured in the impressive list of winners are:

  • Sandown Castle Community Garden Group:
    "It’s Your Neighbourhood" - Outstanding Award; and
    "Our Community Category" - Gold Award and Overall Winner.
  • North Deal Park:
    "Small Park of the Year" - Silver-Gilt Award.
  • St George’s Church:
    "Church Yard of the Year" - Gold Award.
  • The Landmark Garden:
    "It’s Your Neighbourhood" Level 5 Outstanding.
  • Deal:
    "Coastal Town" - Gold Award and Category Winner.
  • Walmer:
    "Parish" - Silver Gilt Award.
  • Waterfront Hotel:
    "Floral Award Single Site" - Silver-Gilt and Category Winner.
  • Deal Performance Area (King’s Head/Dunkerleys/Port Arms):
    "Multiple Floral Site" - Gold Category Award and Overall Winner.
  • Discretionary Awards:
    Trustees Award - Marlene Burnham.
    Judges award for Outstanding Contribution - Graham Stiles, The Kings Head.

  (September 16, 2018)

 

GOODWIN SANDS DREDGING GETS GO-AHEAD

The government's Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has given its consent for aggregate dredging on the South Goodwin Sands, off Deal. It follows an application by Dover Harbour Board to remove up to three million tonnes of aggregate to provide fill material for its Dover Western Docks Revival project. The work is expected to be undertaken between September 2019 and September 2020.

The plan to dredge the offshore sand bank attracted fierce local opposition. A lengthy public consultation yielded over 1,300 representations from the public and strong concerns by Dover and Deal town councils and the protest group Goodwin Sands SOS (Save Our Sands). On their website, the SOS campaign say the MMO's decision undermines other government environmental initiatives including a wish to protect the Sands under new Marine Conservation Zone regulations. The group say they will be seeking expert legal advice to lodge an appeal against the MMO's decision.   (July 29, 2018)

 
DEAL PIER COULD "REOPEN IN EARLY AUGUST"

Dover District Council's property chief Martin Leggatt is optimistic that Deal Pier "will reopen in early August and the restaurant shortly after that". The Pier needed to be closed to the public on Monday 25 June following the discovery of a gas leak on the supply to the restaurant at the pier head. The restaurant had been closed at the end of last year, following the departure of the former operator. This lead to a search for a new tenant with, Mr Leggatt anticipates, contract details now close to completion.

It has been a difficult year for the Pier with late Spring storms causing extensive damage to the lower deck. Mr Leggatt says the contract for repairs has been awarded and the vulnerable timber will be replaced with metal grilles to reduce the risk of future damage. The need to close the Pier has prompted the district council to also bring forward other planned maintenance, including replacing the boiler in the cafe, relining the sewage attenuation tank and painting the railings of the stem. Other work that was interrupted by the unexpected closure of the Pier - resurfacing of the walkway and new seating - will also be resumed.   (July 29, 2018)

 

WALMER CAFÉ TO PROVIDE "HATE CRIME" REPORTING HUB

The owner of the Sea Café on Walmer Green has come up with the idea of providing a novel "hate crime" reporting hub. The proprietor Peter St Ange was himself subjected to a racist slurr earlier this year. After being contacted by several groups opposed to racism and discrimination and also by Kent Police’s community liaison officer Tanya Clark, Peter is keen for his café to become a place where victims can report personal bad experiences.

Kent Police say that similar projects in the county where people can talk to specially trained volunteers are proving useful. The informal "hubs" can overcome concerns by some who do not feel comfortable speaking to the police directly. The police and Peter are now working on the plan to include "hate crime" reporting at the café, making it the first such facility in Dover district.   (July 29, 2018)

 

SEEKING CONSERVATION VOLUNTEERS FOR WALMER'S FREEDOWN "GEM"

People with an interest in conservation are being invited to join in vital work to maintain local chalk grassland of national importance. Often referred to a Walmer's "hidden gem", the Hawkshill Freedown just to the south of Walmer Castle is significant for its wildlife including rare butterflies and over 100 species of wild flowers. Equally important is its value as a prime example of seriously dwindling chalk grassland, some 80% of which has been lost in Britain over the past 60 years.

Ensuring that the Freedown is well managed relies on a small team of volunteers which includes local residents and several parish councillors. They meet - usually on the first Sunday of each month - to spend the morning on a range of activities to help maintain and improve the area for the public. As well as being a venue for community events and family activities, the open common is much appreciated by ramblers, dog walkers and those happy to simply sit and enjoy the view.

Walmer Parish Council, which owns the Freedown, says it would welcome some additional helpers willing to spend an hour or two each month, cutting, clipping and generally looking after the area. As well as meeting up with like-minded volunteers and learning more about conservation, there's the bonus of enjoying fresh air, healthy activity and stunning views of the English Channel. For more "no-obligation" information contact parish clerk Kirsty Holroyd at the Parish Office at 8 The Strand, Walmer or phone her on 01304 362363.   (March 20, 2018)

 
COUNCIL TAX FOR THE COMING 12 MONTHS

Dover District Council has agreed local Council Tax for the coming financial year which starts in April. The average total bill for a Band D property in Dover district for 2018/19 will be £1,727.47, an increase of 4.74% on the 2017/18 bill. The money is collected by the district council and includes sums for:

  • Kent County Council (£1,237.68),
  • Dover District Council (£182.34),
  • Kent Police and Crime Commissioner (£169.15),
  • Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (£75.51) and
  • the district's town and parish councils (an average of £62.79).

Whilst the county council, Dover DC, the police and the fire authority have all increased their demands, some parish and town councils have frozen their precepts and, even reduced them. In the local Deal/Walmer area: Deal Town Council and Sholden, Ripple and Great Mongeham parish councils there's no increase and Walmer Parish Council is asking for 0.4% less.

For details of the new council tax charges for properties in Bands A to H in each parish/town area, see Dover District Council's website.   (March 17, 2018)

 

BATTLES OVER EVENT TO MARK END OF FIRST WORLD WAR

The significance of this year's Remembrance Sunday on 11 November is to be recognised by an international commemoration of the end of the First World War. Local organisations and groups across the UK and also abroad are being invited to join in the Battles Over event to mark the day 100 years ago when the guns fell silent at the end of four year's conflict.

The organisers say Battles Over will comprise a unique series of events in the morning and evening involving organisations and communities and remembering the sacrifice of millions of men and women during World War One. Whilst it is expected many will devise events and activities that are especially appropriate to their locality, there is a basic programme for the day which includes:

  • 6am – Sleep in peace, now the battles over. Individual bagpipers will play Battle’s o’er.
  • 6.55pm – The Last Post. Buglers will play the last post at the Beacon site.
  • 7pm – WW1 Beacons of Light. After darkness has fallen, Beacons of light will be lit throughout the UK.
  • 7.05pm – Ringing out for peace. As beacons blaze around the country, bells in churches and cathedrals will ring out in celebration of the end of the First World War.

For more information and how to get involved, there are details on Dover District Council's website.  (March 14, 2018)

 

COMING EVENTS IN DEAL AND WALMER
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This page was updated on December 5, 2018