Cover picture: A child plays on a new climbing frame at Cheriton Recreation Ground.
Quarter page ad for the council garden waste service
Image: the feet of a person mowing a long lawn
Join thousands of residents and sign up for our garden waste collection:
- Great value
- Fortnightly collection
- Great for the environment
- Get rid of garden waste easily
Sign up now for collections beginning in April at:
“It’s super convenient and I don’t have to get the car mucky.”
Quarter page ad for the council MyAccount service
Image: Different people in six boxes using various devices such as laptops, mobiles and ipads
MyAccount is the easiest and quickest way to interact with us helping you get on with your day.
Half page ad for the council’s Lifeline service
Image: One older woman with a lifeline pendant uses a mobile, one older woman does yoga whilst wearing a lifeline pendant. Images of a Lifeline alarm unit and a Lifeline alarm unit are below.
Lifeline365 devices trigger alerts through home-based and global positioning systems (GPS). When you are in need of help at home or away, simply press the button on your wrist band or pendant, and you’ll be connected within seconds to our control room 24/7.
- Lifeline alarm unit £3.58pw
- Footprint alarm (GPS-enabled) £5.33pw
For further information contact our friendly team on 01303 242615 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Lifeline365.org
Image: Cllr Monk sitting at a desk
As this four-year administrative cycle draws to an end, I have been reflecting on our progress. Two of the years were overshadowed by the Covid pandemic. To offset some of the strife, F&HDC set up three hubs across the district to enable our residents to access help.
Our amazing, award-winning Revenues and Benefits team distributed Government aid to businesses really quickly and operated our resident support scheme immaculately. Our High Street fund helped to give confidence to our traders and this has been reflected in our high footfall recorded by Visit Kent.
We have continued to obtain investment across the district which has enabled the Business Hub and the five-acre commercial land site in New Romney to come forward (approx. £8m). The Ship Street site in Folkestone is progressing to the design stage, along with the entrance road to the Biggins Wood site (approx £2m). The Princes Parade leisure centre has had to be put on hold for the moment while the finances are sorted out although we are proceeding to secure the planning permission.
Now the really stupendous news is that we have £19.8m from the government’s Levelling Up Fund – this will enable us to dramatically change the dynamic of the top end of Folkestone town centre over the next two years. As you may know our ambitious Place Plan includes a new doctor’s surgery and health centre and the repurposing of the rest of the Folca building, which will complement the success of the Creative Quarter and the Harbour Arm at the lower end of the town. More details of the plan are covered on page 5.
With the granting of planning permission for the Otterpool Park garden town hopefully also imminent we certainly have a lot to look forward to.
I hope that you all keep well and have a wonderful summer in this extraordinary district.
In this edition
- Page 7, May day
Get your ID ready for this year’s elections
- Page 8, Pick up or pay the price
Find out about our dog fouling campaign
- Page 9, Don’t let your recycling go to waste
Avoid contamination with these helpful tips
- Page 11, A developing picture
Updates on Biggins Wood, Mountfield Road and Folca
- Page 12, A home from home in Folkestone
The secrets of a successful bond between one Folkestone host and her Ukrainian guest
- Page 13 Our customer service reaps rewards
More about our ninth year achieving the Customer Service Excellence award
- 15 Safety first
An update from Kent Police
and lots more…
Your District Today is produced twice a year and is distributed to more than 50,000 households in the district. This magazine does not include loose inserts – any found inside have been placed there without the authority of Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
Your District Today is printed on paper from trees grown in FSC-certified forests which are managed to strict environmental, social and economic standards.
Editorial: Katie Ainscough, Jane Walker, Dean Kilpatrick, Sarah Munday, Alice Pritchard, Thomas Aspinall
Design: Myah Susarte Dealbert
Printing: Cliffe Enterprises Ltd
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Enjoying the new play equipment at Cheriton Recreation Ground. Go to page 4 to find out more.
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Playtime just got better
You may have noticed changes to some of our play areas across the district as part of our efforts to make playtime even more fun for our younger residents.
We’ve spent Covid Outbreak Management Fund money – made available by Kent County Council – to enhance outdoor facilities and encourage young families to get out and be active.
Three popular locations were chosen for a new lease of life. Here’s what you can expect on your next visit:
Cheriton Recreation Ground
One of the newest features to make its mark on Cheriton Recreation Ground is the 4m high climbing frame.
This adventurous jungle for children has bridges to cross, ladders to climb, and brand-new levels to reach.
We also replaced the missing spring rocker in the toddler area and installed a new shelter at the side of the basketball court.
Oak Drive, St Mary’s Bay
Pretty much all the equipment has been replaced – meaning there is now tons of things for kids to enjoy.
You could spend hours on the set of swings, a toddler climbing unit, a sensory panel, mini roundabout, balance surfboard and spinner and a large climbing frame.
All safety surfaces were refurbished as part of the work and we also repainted the metal benches – and installed an additional one – for residents to take a pew.
Morehall Recreation Ground
Although this play area is a bit smaller than others in the district, we’ve added some new equipment in the area for youngsters to explore.
Fancy trying out a timber trim trail, a space net climber, a basket swing or a large slide? Then this is the place to head.
Image 1: New play equipment including climbing frame, swings, sensory panel and slide at St. Mary’s Bay.
Image 2: New play facilities including climbing frames and wooden play equipment at Cheriton Recreation ground.
Image 3: New play equipment with a climbing wall and slide at Morehall Recreation ground.
Image 4: Close up of the sensory panel at St. Mary’s Bay
It’s happening: multi-million- pound transformation gets going
We’re celebrating our successful bid for a £19.8 million share of the government’s Levelling Up Fund
Following the announcement in January we’ve got straight down to work on our ambitious vision to transform Folkestone town centre.
Key elements of this exciting project are to create a sustainable, attractive and welcoming gateway for Folkestone town centre with a green park replacing the bus station in Bouverie Square.
Shellons Street will become two-way with bus stops and bays replacing the bus station in Middelburg Square. Better signage and obvious walking links will connect visitors to a greener, more vibrant Sandgate Road and Guildhall Street shopping area.
The funding will also enable the second phase of Folca to be progressed by establishing new uses for the site, with an intended focus on public services, retail, leisure and business uses for the rejuvenated building.
Leader Cllr David Monk said: “We have an exciting and ambitious scheme to bring forward and I am over the moon that this has been acknowledged by central government.
“Our plan – A Brighter Future - will breathe new life into Folkestone and radically improve the complicated road network, making it much easier for residents and visitors to access the town centre.”
Vital to the success of the project is the work with partner organisations including Stagecoach, Kent Highways and Creative Folkestone and this had already begun prior to government go-ahead as the funding has to be spent by the end of March 2025.
The bid was submitted in summer 2022 and followed extensive public consultation earlier in the year on possible projects to deliver the priorities set out in the Folkestone Place Plan.
It was agreed that the focus would be on three projects for the Levelling Up Fund bid and the council will continue to work with partners on the other projects and seek further funding opportunities.
To support the bid for government funding the council commissioned a video to showcase the wealth of opportunities that the district offers.
You can view this by visiting folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/regeneration/housingprojects or by looking at the digital screen in one of Folca’s windows.
An artist’s sketch of how Bouverie Square could love after the bus station is moved
An artist’s sketch of a greener, more attractive shopping area in Sandgate Road
Image: speech bubble on a green background with the words ‘Your vote is your voice. Register to vote at: gov.uk/registertovote’ Followed by a logo for the Electoral Commission.
Use your vote
Elections will be held in the district this year on Thursday 4 May. Votes will be held for:
All 30 district council seats across the 13 wards of Folkestone & Hythe.
Town council and parish council elections across the district.
Voting in local elections is important because it’s your chance to have a say in who makes decisions about community issues.
You need to be registered to vote before you can vote in any UK elections or referendums.
If you know in advance you can’t make it to the polling station on 4 May then there are other options.
You can arrange for someone else to vote for you (voting by proxy) or you can register for a postal vote.
If you require a postal vote for the May elections your application needs to reach the Electoral Registration Officer by 5pm on Tuesday 18 April 2023.
A person can vote on your behalf by appointing a proxy, the proxy application deadline is 5pm on Tuesday 25 April 2023. Your proxy must be registered to vote and be able to present their photo ID at the polling station.
Visit folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/elections/register-to-vote to register to vote or arrange a proxy or postal application online.
Those without internet access can call 01303 853497 for assistance.
If you already have a postal or proxy vote in place you do not need to apply for this again for this election.
Making sure your vote counts
Image: photo of a ballot box with a circle graphic with the words ‘Voter ID is coming’
Central government has introduced a requirement for voters to show photo ID when voting at a polling station for elections taking place May 2023 onwards.
A wide range of documents will be accepted – including some passports*, driving licences and cards with a PASS Mark.
If you don’t have an accepted form of photo ID, you can apply for a free voter ID document known as a Voter Authority Certificate.
Visit electoralcommission.org.uk/voterID or call 0800 328 0280 for more information.
What forms of ID can I use to vote?
- Driving licence (including provisional licence)
- Blue badge
- Certain concessionary travel cards
- Identity cards with PASS mark (Proof of Age Standards Scheme)
- Biometric immigration document
- Defence identity card
- Certain national identity cards
A full list can be found by visiting folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/voter-id or by looking at your poll card.
Don’t have an accepted form of photo ID?
If you don’t already have an accepted form of photo ID, or you’re not sure whether your photo ID still looks like you, you can apply for a free Voter Authority Certificate.
Visit voter-authority-certificate.service.gov.uk to apply for yours.
Alternatively, you can complete a paper application form and send this to the district council’s electoral services team.
*Any passport issued by the UK, any of the Channel Islands, the Isle of Man, a British Overseas Territory, an EEA state, or a Commonwealth country.
Don’t be a mucky pup
Image: Picture of a dog on a white background with the words ‘Pick up or pay up’ and ‘Dog poo can carry disease. Leaving it could mean a fine of £1000. Report dog fouling at folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/dog-fouling
Pick up after your pooch – or pay the price.
That is the message of our latest campaign designed to reduce dog fouling in the district.
Failing to clean up after your four-legged friends can lead to fines of up to £1,000 so we’re reminding residents and visitors of their responsibility.
Hotspot areas are being targeted with increased patrols, and we’ve added new signage aimed at discouraging those who don’t clean up after their dog.
Even those without a canine can play their part by reporting dog fouling when they see it. It only takes a few minutes and means we can clean the area and monitor it moving forward.
Visit folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/dog-fouling to report any incidents where you live.
Communities across the district are coming together to explore ways to reduce carbon emissions.
The Carbon Innovation Lab (CI-Lab) was formed in June last year and stakeholders have been regularly meeting since then. The active discussions and contributions have focused on:
- Sustainable transport – in particular, buses and cycling
- Exploring behavioural change – the hurdles to adopting low-cost carbon reduction behaviours in both vulnerable and 'able-to-pay' homes
- Sharing the progress made towards reducing emissions with the district’s residents and partners
To develop these points further two community engagement events were held in January. There will be more community events throughout 2023. These will be publicised on the council’s website and social channels.
The CI-Lab would like to hear about any amazing projects and initiatives in the district you know of that are making a positive impact on our environment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggestions and recommendations.
Image: Poster for Green Business Grants scheme with a picture of a forest from above and the words ‘Free business grant to help reduce energy costs’ and ‘Apply today for £25,000 and reduce your carbon footprint and energy costs. Folkestone.works/green-business-grant-scheme with the council logo.
Folkestone’s Three Hills Sports Park will be shining the light on energy efficiency thanks to our Green Business Grant Scheme.
After a successful application for funding, the sports complex on Cheriton Road is moving to LEDs for its pitch lighting – resulting in lower energy and maintenance costs.
Helping the district’s businesses save carbon and become more energy efficient is the aim of the scheme. It is open to those already in the district and those planning to set up in or move to the area.
Grants of up to £10,000 can be awarded for projects, although up to £25,000 can be provided in exceptional circumstances.
Businesses will need to have sufficient money to fund a project up-front as grant funding from a successful application is awarded upon completion of the works.
Visit folkestone.works/green-business-grant-scheme for more information about the funding.
Don’t let your recycling go to waste
We know lots of residents work hard to recycle – however sometimes rubbish can end up in the wrong bins and contaminate everyone else’s waste. This sometimes means the whole lorry load can’t be recycled and means the council is charged.
So don’t let your hard work go to waste: take a few minutes to double check you’re putting the right thing in the correct bin.
Here are some of the main contaminators and what you can do with them:
Image of crisp packet
- Black bags, plastic carrier bags and soft plastics (eg crisp packets, film): Put them in your refuse bin – although some supermarkets offer a recycling service for plastic carrier bags and soft plastics.
Image of hard plastic bucket
- Hard plastics (eg children’s toys, buckets): If they are in good condition why not consider selling or donating them? If not, these belong in your refuse bin. Image of microwave
- Electrical items (eg microwaves and Hoovers): These can be disposed of using our bulky waste collection service. Alternatively take them to your local household waste recycling centre. Image of flattened cardboard
- Paper/card: These can be recycled just so long as they are separated from plastics, glass and metal.
Be Kind to waste crews
They’ve got our backs and we’ve got theirs!
We’ve joined our partners at Veolia to thank all our waste collectors as part of the East Kent #StreetKind campaign.
We’d like to send thanks for all the wonderful residents who always treat out colleagues with kindness and respect as they collect our rubbish – not matter the weather.
Image: Waste crew in orange high vis vests with the words ‘Veolia in partnership with Dover District Council and Folkestone & Hythe District Council. Let’s be StreetKind.’
Calling all gardeners!
We’ll be running our popular garden competition again this year. If you’re a council housing tenant, we’d love you to get involved – even if you haven’t done much gardening before.
There are plenty of categories to choose from no matter how big or small your space is.
Best back garden
Best containers, pots and baskets
Best community or communal garden
Best vegetable patch
Best junior gardener
Best new garden
Cllr Keren Belcourt rose
Sue Willsher Cup
How to enter
Image: Tenant garden with hanging baskets and roses in bloom
Carbon reduction work continues in housing
Work has begun at Ross House as part of a multi-million pound project funded by Folkestone & Hythe District Council and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
This is part of a wider programme of works which will result in more than 120 council-managed properties benefitting from energy efficient measures – keeping residents warm in winter and cool in the summer.
The work at Ross House will include externally insulating and rendering the building, replacing kitchens, insulating the loft and under floor voids, installing photovoltaics and adding more energy efficient air source heat pumps.
This project will go some way in helping us meet our target of all council-managed homes achieving an energy performance certificate of band C by 2030.
Images: two pictures of scaffolding on the frame of Ross House and one picture of solar panels on the tile roof.
Housing Online launches
Housing Online is a new service that provides council tenants with 24/7 access to their own information via tablet, computer or smartphone.
It allows tenants to view and update details digitally at their convenience via the council website. The new online service will free up our resources to support those tenants – via telephone – who would benefit from additional assistance.
After logging in, access will include:
- Viewing and updating contact and personal details
- Viewing rent balances and statements
- Making online payments
- Setting up a Direct Debit
- Requesting a repair
- Chasing the progress of a repair
- Viewing repair history
- Respond to surveys
- Upload documents
- Make payments
Image: Icon of black mobile phone with yellow silhouette of roof over it
Your voice, our action!
We carried out a district-wide tenant satisfaction survey last year to find out more about areas of the housing service where we could improve.
This feedback is very important to us, and we will be doing more satisfaction surveying in 2023.
So, we’re asking all council tenants, please do take the opportunity to share your opinion on your homes, neighbourhood, repairs, staff contact, priorities and communication.
If you’d like to contact us to give us your feedback, please email email@example.com or call 01303 853723.
Image: Black microphone icon on yellow oval
Exciting road ahead for district
Work is rapidly progressing at Mountfield Road with the completion of a new roadway and infrastructure following a £3.5 million grant from the government’s Getting Building Fund.
This money will enable specific parts of the site to be brought forward for employment use.
The land will provide sites for local businesses looking to expand whilst attracting new businesses to the district.
The space will enable them to develop their own units and bring hundreds of jobs to the area over the next 10 years.
Six plots have already been sold (subject to contract) with the hope that planning permission will be granted in spring 2023 when further development and building will take place.
Image: new tarmac road at Mountfield Road
THE FUTURE FOR FOLCA
We continue to work closely with healthcare professionals and their representatives to bring forward a state-of-the-art medical centre for Folkestone town centre in part of the Folca site.
Public engagement is an important part of this proposal and further information will be released when we can about how residents can get involved.
Linked to the successful bid for levelling up funding, project is underway to refurbish the existing footprint of the art deco section of the Folca building.
Pellings LLP has been appointed as lead consultants to oversee surveys and investigative work that will enable separation of the site and to identify initial remedial works required to enable future occupation.
We expect contractors to be on site during 2023 as these initial works take place.
NEW HOMES TO SPRING UP ON DERELICT SITE
Work to create an access road onto the Biggins Wood site in Folkestone is due to start in early 2023.
The road and associated utilities works are the second phase of the contract and will enable developers to move onto the site to begin building the new housing and commercial units.
Seventy-seven homes are planned for the southern area of the site. Of these, 14 will be offered at affordable rent to those on the housing waiting list and nine will be for shared ownership.
The commercial area has the potential to offer up to 5,600 square metres of space for new and existing businesses.
A £1.15 million grant from the government’s Brownfield Land Release Fund has funded preparation work on the 10.9-acre former brickworks site.
This has included ecological surveys to identify wildlife living on the site and resulted in slow worms, common lizards and smooth newts being safely relocated to newly created habitats nearby.
Other work involves removing fly-tipped rubbish and clearing the site of invasive plants and weeds.
Image: Council Leader Cllr David Monk sits in a yellow excavator on the Biggins Road site
From Ukraine to Folkestone
A year on from the start of the Russia-Ukraine war, we look at the inspiring story of two women brought together by the conflict.
Cats, laughter and Strictly – but not boiled eggs – are the keys to success for one Ukrainian woman and her Folkestone host.
Alona Vashchenko is originally from Donetsk and while her family still live there, she had moved to Kharkiv for work in the tech/IT industry in 2010.
Alona was on a workcation in Cyprus when – on 24 February 2022 – Russia invaded Ukraine, meaning the 33-year-old couldn’t return home.
She said: “When I realised that no one was going to stop Russian terrorism against my country during the first month – I still had hope – I started to look for a safe place to live and work.”
The United Kingdom was a natural choice (she had been here seven times as a tourist and “loved it”). Through the Homes for Ukraine scheme, Alona arrived here in April and went to live with Lori Monks in Hawkins Road, where she has since stayed.
Speaking of her strong host/guest relationship, Alona adds: “All kudos to Lori – she's a wonderful, open-minded person with a kind heart, and she supports me very much with all my issues. We are both okay to speak honestly with each other.
“We also share a good sense of humour and a big love for cats and other animals.”
This is fortunate because Lori, 55, had four cats when Alona moved in; there are now five as well as three chickens!
The pair got on well from day one, although Lori admits: “Like anything to start with, it took some getting used to. I am a bit set in my ways so had to have a good talk to myself about things.
“I also had to get used to someone with very different body clock hours, and sharing your space takes a bit of tolerance for us both.”
With Alona’s good English, language wasn’t a barrier – although there have been laughs over some interpretation and grammar.
Lori said: “That just makes the relationship roll on. Culturally, it’s very disappointing. I hear all these stories from other hosts about the lovely meals and cakes they get cooked. Me? I get boiled egg!”
Lori’s inquisitiveness about the world (in particular, the old USSR) has opened up some good conversations, adding: “On my part, I have opened up the world of Strictly to Alona and a few other bad programme choices!”
Alona is unable to plan her long-term future (“I’m waiting for Ukrainian victory”) but doesn’t need to worry – as Lori reassuringly tells her she can stay as long as she needs.
Visit gov.uk/register-interest-homes-ukraine if you would like to take part in the Homes for Ukraine scheme.
Image: Host Lori and guest Alona sit together on a sofa. Caption: Lori and Alona share a love of cats and Strictly Come Dancing
It’s (almost) a wrap!
As Folkestone Community Works comes to an end, one local business reflects on what our investment programme has done for them.
Paper Boat Documentaries, run by Martha Maynard and Simon Freeman and based in the Creative Quarter, received a grant to buy new editing equipment and high-quality speakers, which increased workflow and project quality.
The money – which comes from European Union funding and is put into small and medium-sized businesses in three Folkestone wards – enabled Paper Boat to build on its success both in Kent and across the country.
Martha said: “Buying and trading locally brings a lot of economic and social benefits to business owners and can help the local community thrive.
“Local businesses are often customers of other local businesses, so the benefits of being a successful business are often far reaching.”
Applications have now closed and successful projects must be completed by the end of March.
See the next edition of Your District Today for a round-up of the five-year project.
Image: A young couple look down at the viewfinder of a camera. Caption: In focus: Martha and Simon of Paper Boat Documentaries. Photo by Aiste Saulyte.
Image: Logo for European Union with yellow stars on a blue background with the words, ‘European Union, European Structural and Investment Funds.’
Otterpool Park update
The overall vision for Otterpool Park sees a total of up to 10,000 new homes come forward in a new garden settlement supported by necessary infrastructure and development.
The outline planning application proposes 8,500 of these homes and will establish the new settlement over a period of 25+ years.
This also proposes a range of retail, employment and leisure uses, social infrastructure and associated infrastructure.
The illustrative vision for the new town centre is shown here. A consultation on an amendment to the outline planning application closed in January.
Visit folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/otterpoolpark to find out the latest on the development.
Image: Artist’s impression of what Otterpool Park could look like from above with Housing and green spaces.
Pride for excellent customer service
We are proud to have received the prestigious Customer Service Excellence award for a ninth consecutive year.
The accreditation is a national standard recognising organisations with a “truly customer-focussed culture”.
Following a visit from a Centre for Assessment independent assessor, we retained our Customer Service Excellence Award (which we have been accredited with since 2013) and secured 16 compliance pluses.
Pluses are given when an organisation shows innovative practice or delivering a service that is over and above what the customer would normally expect, or show practise that could be usefully shared with other similar organisations.
Assessor Andrew Mackey concluded: “The council has shown a great deal of commitment to continually developing its offer to customers.
“There is a strong sense of staff being one team across the council, with lots of examples of cross-team working and collaboration across different service areas."
Our MyAccount service was cited as a good example of residents being put first – while the assessor was also impressed by consultation processes, partnership working and an ability to understand the needs of customers.
Leader Cllr David Monk added: “The assessor highlighted several areas he considered us to be 'exemplar'. We are very proud of the work we do here and to have that endorsed by an independent body is very satisfying.”
Image: Cllr Ray Field, Cabinet Member for Transport and Digital Transformation, Customer Services Lead Specialist Karen Everett and Leader Cllr David Monk pose with the CSE certificate in the council offices.
Need a helping hand?
With several months of cold weather behind us, it’s good to look forward to the spring and all it brings.
But with the increased cost of energy, food and fuel – not to mention Christmas – many of us will have taken a hit over the winter and might be struggling financially.
There is still plenty of help out there with a wide range of sources providing financial or wellbeing support.
Visit folkestone-hythe.gov.uk/cost-of-living-support for a comprehensive list of help available. You can also call 01303 853555 or use our Customer Access Point in the Civic Centre.
We are able to offer guidance on a wide range of things (for example, if you are struggling to pay your council tax or rent) and there is also plenty of government help, along with charities and other organisations.
Image: Romney Marsh Community Hub volunteers Sue Hancock and Janet Thomas pose smiling for a photo with drinks.
Image: Romney Marsh Community Hub volunteers wave to the camera
Volunteers have been the backbone of cost of living support.
This has been particularly evident at the warm spaces set up last December across the district.
Most will remain open until the end of March. Visit warmwelcome.uk for more details.
Romney Marsh Community Hub thanked its 74 volunteers for their work throughout last year at a special event.
Hub CEO John Wilson said: “We couldn’t operate our charity without the goodwill of our volunteers, all of whom give their time and energy to help people on the Marsh.
“They are the jewel in our crown and we are so very grateful for all that they bring.”
Partnership keeping our community safe
Teamwork nets results
A joint operation resulted in two Folkestone shops being closed for three months after cigarettes and tobacco they were selling were found to be smuggled or counterfeit.
Shanga Shop in Sandgate Road, Folkestone, and Star Shop, in Cheriton High Street, were investigated in a joint operation between Folkestone & Hythe District Council Kent Police and Kent County Council’s Trading Standards team.
Magistrates were told about test purchases carried out and ordered that the shops were closed immediately.
Community teams have also been tackling anti-social behaviour in residential areas across the district.
Image: Folkestone & Hythe District Community Safety Partnership logo with five abstract people in different bright colours holding hands in a circle.
Enjoying a safe night out
Safety in the evenings has also been a focus for the partnership.
The Urban Pastors have been out and about at night and in the early hours checking the welfare of those going home after a night out, as well as those rough sleeping.
A knife arch was organised at two late-night bars in Folkestone. The arch detects a knife and is used as a deterrent to make people think twice about carrying weapons.
The partnership is hoping to introduce the Best Bar None accreditation scheme in the district.
Supported by the Home Office and drinks industry, the scheme aims to improve standards in the evening and night-time economy.
Somewhere to turn
A Safe Space scheme involving retail outlets in the district is set to be introduced later this year.
The partnership has been working initially with Bouverie Place Shopping Centre in Folkestone.
Shops will display a sticker in their window to indicate that anyone seeking help can take refuge in the store and appropriate help will be found.
The Safe Space scheme can help people being threatened with violence or those feeling vulnerable.
Keeping crime down in the district
Kent Police District Commander for Folkestone and Hythe, Keith Taylor, shares advice on deterring catalytic converter thieves
Since my arrival as the District Commander for Folkestone and Hythe at the start of September 2022, policing in the district has gone from strength to strength.
There has been an overall reduction in recorded crime and an increase in arrests of suspects and solved offences. This is partly due to the tenacity and commitment of the officers working hard to keep you safe, but also due to the support that we receive from within the community from victims, witnesses, support agencies, partner agencies and general members of the public – so thank you!
I continue to be impressed with the officers and staff servicing Folkestone and Hythe who have professionally dealt with some significant incidents through the winter, demonstrating bravery, pride and empathy. If you think you could make a difference through policing, whether it be as an officer, call handler or in any other role within Kent Police, why not visit the ‘careers’ section of our website kent.police.uk.
Sadly, we have seen some continued themes of criminality locally which we are looking to take opportunities to tackle – not least vehicle crime. Although we had some significant success with arrests of individuals stealing from and interfering with motor vehicles over the last few months, the theft of catalytic converters continues to be a national issue. This is due to the value of precious metals contained within them.
In order to reduce the risk of your vehicle being targeted for its catalytic converter please consider the following:
- Keep vehicles in a garage whenever possible, or park in busy, well-lit areas
- Park close to fences, walls and kerbs with the exhaust closest to the barrier to make it difficult for thieves to get under your vehicle
- Consider fitting a catalytic converter clamp or security cage to protect it
- Security mark and register the metal shell of the converter so if stolen and recovered, it will be easier to trace. Mark or etch it with the vehicle registration number or serial number.
February has seen a focus on road safety measures - specifically tackling mobile phone use at the wheel. Some helpful advice can be found on our website, but remember that it is illegal to use a handheld mobile phone whilst driving a motor vehicle on roads in the UK. It could result in points on your licence and a £200 fine. Or worse, it could result in serious injury to yourself or another.
Please be safe, and thank you once again for your continued support within the district.
Image: Picture of Kent Police District Commander for Folkestone and Hythe, Keith Taylor.
Full back page ad for Moat Homes promoting Valeria Bay, New Romney
Image: Two friends enjoy a glass of wine over dinner, two boys play on a beach in wetsuits and a mother and two children read a book in a tepee inside a home.
Valeria Bay, New Romney
Seas the day!
Homes for shared ownership are coming back to Valeria Bay
Register your interest today at Moathomes.co.uk
Disclaimer: *Eligibility criteria apply. Moat Homes Limited is a charitable housing association. Shared ownership is a form of leasehold ownership – please see the Moat Homes website for further details.
Moat Homes logo - a white circle with a gap and the words ‘Moat Homes’
Folkestone & Hythe District Council logo – a white horse with the words ‘Folkestone & Hythe Distict Council’
A logo with a box with the words ‘That’s what SHARED OWNERSHIP means’
A logo with a circle and a house with the words, ‘Help to Buy’ and underneath ‘backed by HM Government.’