ALL SET TO CLEAN UP IN DEAL

Deal residents are being invited to join in this month's nationwide ‘Great British Spring Clean’. Local green campaigners Deal With It have two local events - a Beach Clean on Sunday 5 March and a Park Clean on Saturday 18 March. The introduction of the new "clean up" drive is backed by major anti-litter charities including Keep Britain Tidy, Keep Wales Tidy and the Marine Conservation Society. The hope is that it will become an annual event, bringing people together to clean up their neighbourhoods.

The community beach clean on Sunday 5 March will tackle a section of Walmer beach. New and existing supporters are invited to meet at 9.30am at the Sea Café on Walmer Green. The Park Clean on Saturday 18 March is at Victoria Park, starting at 2pm. Again, everyone is invited to turn up at the Mill Road carpark end of the park. For more details, see www.dealwithit.org.uk, or call 01304 372673.    (March 3, 2017)

 

HEALTH CHANGES PROTEST AT COUNTY HALL

Local campaigner Rosemary Rechter is urging people to support a public protest against proposed changes to health services. She says: "There will be a demonstration at County Hall in Maidstone on Friday 3 March to protest at the proposed local Sustainability and Transformation Plan (STP) and fears of NHS privatisation. There is a KCC meeting to consider the STP that starts at 10am so it would be great if as many people as possible could turn up at around 9.30am to make clear to our councillors what we think. Please come along if you can."

The Kent and Medway NHS proposals for STP changes can be seen at www.kmpt.nhs.uk/information-and-advice/stp.htm. Whilst the stated aims to improve health and social care over the next five years are laudable, concerns have been raised by some at the practical effects on local services. Among the critics, Rosemary Rechter considers "STP" is an acronym for "Slash, Trash and Privatise".    (February 25, 2017)

 

ALL CHANGE FOR £1 COINS AND BANKNOTES

A new 12-sided £1 coin is being rolled out in March and the current round version will stop being legal tender on Sunday 15 October. The public is being advised to gather up any of the old coins - possibly saved in jars and piggy banks - and use or change them at a bank before the deadline. Although some vending and slot machines may require modification, the main supermarket chains have all said that shoppers won't have problems using the new coins in their trolleys.

The new polymer £5 note, issued last September, replaces the old paper fiver which will no longer be legal tender after Friday 5 May. Again the advice is to use or exchange them. The Bank of England says that a new polymer £10 note will be issued in September 2017 and a new £20 note by 2020.    (February 25, 2017)

 

GROW HOPS FOR A TASTY LOCAL BREW

Deal and Walmer residents are being invited to sign up for a "grow your own beer" project. It's the idea of local "green" group Deal With It who are launching a community hop growing project under the banner of Deal Hop Farm. Organiser Steve Wakeford explained: “We hope to create a patchwork hop farm made up of private gardens, allotments and community gardens and spaces in the town. There are several similar successful schemes around the country. So far we have about 20 people interested including English Heritage’s Walmer Castle."

Ripple Steam Brewery is supporting the project to help produce a local Deal Beer when the first viable crop of hops becomes available. Steve Wakeford says hops can be easily grown and advice will be available if needed. The hops have to be planted by early March, so participants will need to order one of the £20 hop plant (rhizome) and starter kits by 23 February. The first harvest will be on a single day in September.

For people who want to know more there will be information at the Landmark Garden in Deal High Street on Saturdays 4 and 11 February; or at a launch meeting on Thursday 9 February at 6pm in The Lighthouse pub. The Strand, Walmer. Membership forms and leaflets are also available at The Lighthouse, The Green Berry, The Just Reproach, The Freed Man, The Landmark Centre, The Astor, Golf Road Centre, Das Bar, Deal Town Hall and online at www.dealwithit.org.uk; or call 01304 372673.    (January 31, 2017)

 
UKULELE CLUB ROLLS OUT THE WELCOME MAT
Deal Ukulele Club members at Christmas 2016

Members of the Landmark Ukulele Club at their Christmas session
and party on Friday 23 December (photo Stephen Wakeford).

Ukulele enthusiasts are being invited to join a popular club for the instrument based at Deal's Landmark Centre. Club organiser Rose Dowd said “We welcome people at all stages on their Ukulele journey. We usually have between 20 to 30 people at each session and there is a small fee of £1 to help cover costs. We also do a few public performances each year to support local charities.”
The club meets every Friday from 10am to 12noon at the Landmark Community Centre on Deal High Street. For details, call Rose on 01304 372673 or    (January 9, 2017)
 

DEAL COMMUTERS FACE ANNUAL SEASON TICKETS RISE

With the announcement that average fares on Southeastern rail services are to rise by just under 2% next year, Deal commuters will see an increase of almost £100 on an annual season. The current £5,228 season ticket on the high-speed service from Deal to St Pancras goes up to £5,324. For Deal to Charing Cross passengers the annual ticket of £5,184 increases to £5,286.

For details of other journeys and season ticket periods, see the National Rail calculator at: http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/search.    (December 9, 2016)

 

SEEKING "SNOW WARDENS" TO HELP THEIR LOCAL COMMUNITY

Dover District Council and the Dover/Deal Volunteer Centre are keen to recruit volunteer Snow Wardens to help clear snow if bad weather strikes. The scheme is designed to enable residents to help out in their local community by clearing snow from footpaths and spreading salt to prevent ice from forming. Registered Snow Wardens need to be physically fit and available throughout the winter months. They have access to grit bins and additional salt can be provided if required.

To ensure safe working, the volunteers are asked to wear high-visibility warm clothing, suitable gloves and non-slip waterproof footwear. Advice on equipment - like shovels - is available if required. For more details, see www.dover.gov.uk/Community/Snow-Wardens.aspx or contact Dover District Volunteer Centre on 01304 367898.    (December 9, 2016)

 

PLANS FOR NHS AND CARE CHANGES UNDER FIRE

Fears that many local people are unaware of current moves to reorganise NHS and care services are being voiced by local "green" campaigner Rosie Rechter. In drawing attention to the development of Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) by NHS, social care and public health bodies across the country, Rosie suggests their implementation could lead to privatisation, charges and insurance-funded care. Critics in some of the 44 separate STP working party areas across England regard STP as "yet another reorganisation" with a risk of hospital closures and insufficient funding rendering some proposals as "pie in the sky".

Locally, the STP process has brought together hospital bosses, community health organisations, GPs, commissioners and local authority social care leaders in Kent and Medway. They say they are "working together to plan how to transform health and social care services to meet the changing needs of local people". The hope is to provide "positive and genuine improvement in health and social care delivery over the next five years". In the New Year, they plan to publish detailed STP proposals and a timetable for public consultation.

For more information on the Kent and Medway STP, download this explanatory leaflet and the local STP Draft Plan.    (December 9, 2016)

 

"BLOOM" TEAM ARE AIMING FOR GOLD

Campaigners aiming for Deal to gain top honours in the 2017 South and South East in Bloom competition are seeking even more public support. The local Deal in Bloom Working Group held its first meeting on Tuesday (7 December) - with how to boost next year's town entry high on the agenda. This year, Deal only missed out on top Gold recognition by a few points and was awarded Silver-Gilt.

Working Group member Linda Ford said: "The competition isn't just about flowers; it also covers green spaces, shrubs and local biodiversity, including birds, wild flowers, butterflies, bees and other insects." The cleanliness and appearance of the town are key to success. Lack of litter, a clean beach, no graffiti, cleanliness of paving, lack of weeds and lack of dog mess are vital. The competition judges also look at Deal's community as a whole - including schools and community groups, business support with hanging baskets, window boxes and floral shop window displays, as well as local council and residents' displays.

Linda added: "It takes a lot of co-ordination to win an award. Every single piece of help from the public makes a big difference; from just picking up a piece of litter to joining one of the local groups of volunteers involved in projects like the Sandown Castle Community Garden." Apart from making the town pleasant for local people, the regional competition organisers say winning towns can prove an attractive destination for visitors. This brings in revenue and is especially good news for small businesses. For more on the Gold Award bid and how to be involved, call Linda Ford on 07751 362949.    (December 8, 2016)

 

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

 
This page was updated on March 3, 2017