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News Index 2006-7

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Index 2006
Anti-social behaviour 10/8
Ash Road 9/3, 30/3
Badgers 5/1
Bankruptcy 27/4, 14/9
Billings Hill Shaw 27/3
Brambledown 5/10
Charity 5/1, 16/3, 6/4, 13/4, 4/5, 22/6
Church Road 23/3
 - Hartley Grange 27/3
 - All Saints CE 6/4, 1/10
 - Hartley RC 23/2, 2/3,15/6
 - Hartley URC 2/3
 - North Kent Community 7/9
Conservatives 16/10
Coroner's Inquest 9/3
Council Tax 23/2
Cricket 3/8
Culcroft 5/10
Dartford Crossing 30/11
Farming 5/1, 16/3, 13/4, 27/4
 - Primary School 7/12
 - Small Grains 26/10
 - Speedgate Farm 7/9
Fires 21/3
Football 13/4
Gaywood, Cllr James 20/4, 2/11, 9/11, 16/11
Girl Guides 5/1
Gorse Way 9/2
Gorsewood Road 23/3
Grafiti 24/3, 10/8
Green Issues 13/4, 22/5
Harris, Cllr Malcolm 27/4
Hartley Art Group 1/6
Hartley Bottom Farm 13/4, 27/4
Hartley Primary School 2/2,15/6, 23/11
Hartley Social Club 2/11
Hartley Wood 27/4, 24/5
Hawthorns 26/10
Health 17/8
History 12/1, 1/2
Housing Benefit 27/3
Identity Theft 16/10
Inquests 23/3
Library 16/3, 27/3
 - Allotments 21/9
 - Axton Chase School 16/3, 13/4, 25/5, 13/7, 24/8, 31/8, 19/10, 23/11
 - Barclays Bank 15/3
 - Charity 16/3, 27/4, 12/10
 - Church 7/12
 - Crime 5/1, 31/8, 9/11
 - Dementia Respite Centre 16/2
 - Festival 17/8
 - Fish Bar 27/4
 - Flooding 15/6
 - Green Man 28/9, 21/12
 - Kent Road 2/11
 - Kite, Cllr Jeremy 2/3
 - Langafel CE School 12/1, 12/10, 30/11 14/12, 21/12
 - Life expectancy 24/8
 - Litter 15/3
 - Main Road 24/8, 31/8, 7/12
 - Panther 24/8, 7/9
 - St Mary's Way 9/3, 27/4
 - Station Road 15/6
 - Waitrose 31/8
 - Westshaw 6/4, 14/9
 - Whitehill Road 7/12
Longfield Hill 26/10
Manor Drive 6/7
Manor Field 22/6
Milestone School 9/2, 3/8, 28/9
Needlework 23/3
New Ash Green
 - Bovis Homes 25/5
 - Centre Road 14/12
 - Charity 23/2
 - Crime 23/2, 16/3, 30/3, 14/12
 - Farm Holt 30/3, 7/12
 - Knightscroft 7/9
 - Library 17/8
 - Primary School 1/6, 21/12
 - Puss in Boots 30/3
 - Rugby 16/3, 28/9
 - RW Emby Design 13/7
 - Scouts 2/11
 - The Badger 23/2
 - Youth 10/8
Parish Council 16/3
Parish Plan 20/4
Parkfield 3/8
Pitfield 16/3
Planning 2/3
Police 1/3, 24/3, 6/4
Porchester Close 21/3, 24/8, 31/8, 28/9
Post Office 7/9
Property 9/2, 16/2, 6/7, 10/8, 17/8
Rabbits 21/9
Rectory Meadow 5/1
Roads 18/5
Sevenoaks Council 27/3
Smoking 9/10
Telephone Masts 27/3
Telephones 12/1
Unitary Authorities 25/5
War Memorial 13/7
Water 10/4, 25/5
Weather 10/4, 5/10
Wellfield 13/4
Woodland Avenue 16/2
Youth 2/2, 17/8

In depth articles
Hartley Wood
Police reorganisation
Quality Parish Councils

Click here to comment on any story in the Hartley-Kent guestbook

21 December 2006
Prospect Lodge planning application goes to appeal

Recently a planning application to demolish Prospect Lodge in Gorse Way (picture) and replace it with 7 flats was refused by Sevenoaks District Council.  The owner has now appealed to the Planning Inspectorate under reference APP/G2245/A/06/2032584.  If anyone wants to make representations they need to write to the Planning Inspectorate, Room 3/15, Eagle Wing, Temple Quay House, 2 The Square, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6PN by 30 January 2007.  You can follow the case, view documents and make comments online at the Planning Portal website.

Nativity Plays
(Dartford Messenger, p14-15) Pictures of Nativity plays at New Ash Green and Langafel Primary Schools.

Sue seeks history of the Green Man
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Appeal for information by new landlady of the Longfield Hill pub.

14 December 2006
Do you know this man?

(Dartford Times p17) Photofit of man wanted in connection with attack on 47 year old man at Centre Road, New Ash Green.  (see also Dartford Messenger, p3 "E-fit appeal")

Nativity Play
(Dartford Messenger, p17) Pictures of play at Langafel CE Primary School.

9 December 2006
Annual report of Dartford and Gravesham NHS Trust 2005/6
(FHC) The trust, which runs the Darent Valley Hospital, made a £4.4 million pound loss last year on a turnover of around £100 million.  However service has improved.  Last year there were nearly 100 people who had to wait over 13 weeks for an outpatient appointment, this year it was none.  Likewise no-one had to wait more than 6 months for an operation, although the total numbers on the waiting list has increased over the previous year.  About 0.7% of operations are cancelled at short notice, within the national 1% target.

The trust covers the 234,000 people Dartford, Gravesend and the northern part of the Sevenoaks district.  In 2005/6 they employed 1,729 staff divided into 215 medical, 616 nursing, 313 assistants and support, 239 theraputic and technical, 13 ambulance and 333 administrative.

7 December 2006
Past Times

(Dartford Messenger, p12) Picture feature of Fawkham Primary School's Victorian wash day.

Road relief for villagers
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Widening of Whitehill Road to 8m has been completed ahead of schedule at a cost of £100,000.  Longfield Parish Council donated the land.

Bankruptcy notice
(Dartford Times, p70) Bankruptcy orders published in respect of businessman of Farm Holt, New Ash Green; and kitchen assistant of Main Road, Longfield.

Treat yourself
(Dartford Messenger, p15) Picture of St Mary Magdalene Christmas Fair in Longfield.

30 November 2006
Crossing should be free

(Dartford Messenger, p7) Article lists the top Dart Tag regular users of the Dartford Tunnel: (by postcode area) Maidstone (14,901), Romford (13,965), North Kent (12,970), Chelmsford (11,122), Southend (10,333), Tonbridge (8,325), Ipswich (5,738), Colchester (3,897) and Canterbury (3,612).  There are 552 Dart Tag users in the DA3 postcode area that includes Hartley, Longfield and New Ash Green.

Irish stew?
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Picture of PCSO Tony Quilter trying new menu at Langafel Primary School.

23 November 2006
Children in need day
(Dartford Messenger, p20) Pictures of events at Axton Chase School and Hartley Primary School.

16 November 2006
Cllr James Gaywood

(Dartford Times, p69) Official notice and report of the Standards Hearing (see 2 November)

9 November 2006
Vice-chairman is scolded after official probe

(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p8) Full report of the Standards Hearing, which found Hartley councillor James Gaywood had breached the code of conduct by not declaring a personal interest in a planning application near his house.  He was accused of changing his story according to the circumstances by the hearing chairman, a charge he denied.  He told the paper he had considered resigning but decided to draw a line under the matter.

All above board at the council
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p16) Chairman of standards committee denies any cover up by the council to save councillors from embarrassment (see 2 November)

Man admits molesting girls
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Longfield man admits charges of sexual assault on five young girls.

2 November 2006
Vice-chairman breached code, says official report

(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p2 and 16) Sevenoaks Council vice-chairman and Hartley councillor, Cllr James Gaywood, found "to have failed to have failed to declare an interest in a planning application that could have affected his own house just a few doors away".  The investigating officer dismissed other more serious charges, but found he had failed to declare a personal interest when he should have done, and had thus breached the council's code of conduct.  The paper in an editorial was concerned that the council refused to let them see a copy of the report saying "it does not have the right to use its power to protect elected councillors from embarrassment; such actions make a mockery of local government".

Wheels of fortune: Cyclists Support worthy cause
Riders aid sick kids

(Dartford Messenger, p 20; Dartford Times, p24) Seven cyclists from Hartley Social Club raise £2,350 for Darent Valley Lollipop appeal.  A 76 year old member added £150 from a sponsored knit (picture).  See also "Riders Aid Sick Kids" (Dartford Times, p24)

Club watch - Ash Green Scouts
(Dartford Messenger, p 23) Profile of organisation and picture.

Kent Road, Longfield - new parking regulations
(Dartford Times, p 68) Amended parking restrictions to apply in Kent Road under KCC (Various Roads, Dartford) (Prohibition and restriction of waiting and loading) Order 2006.

26 October 2006
Sevenoaks Open Spaces to be disposed?

(Sevenoaks Council cabinet agenda & minutes) The council has decided it wants to save money on maintenance of open spaces in estates, otherwise transferred to the West Kent Housing Association.  Where the land has "no other reasonable use" it will be offered to the parish council free of charge.  However where it has development value it will be sold at market value, one such site identified is at Small Grains in Fawkham, even though it is apparently green belt land.  Hoselands Green in Hartley is another site owned by the council, but there is no information which category it falls in.

Torched car
(Dartford Times, p7) Thieves dump car on someone else's drive at Hawthorns, and then set fire to it.  Fire crews from Dartford attend.

Post office: shadow minister calls in to give stamp of approval to campaign
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Visit of Alan Duncan to Longfield Hill Post Office, after 4 million petition was handed to government to stop post office closures.  Article mentions the Longfield Hill office is not threatened with closure (picture)

19 October 2006
Healthy Eating: Let's all go down to school, have a banana

(Dartford Messenger, p19) Healthy eating programme at Axton Chase School includes frozen bananas instead of ice cream (picture)

16 October 2006
Dartford Postcode area worst in south east for identity theft
(Callcredit Press Release) Research by the credit reference agency found the DA postcode had 3.06 incidents of ID theft per 1,000 population in the period May 2005 - May 2006.  This was the highest of all the south-east postcodes and puts DA 12th out of 121 nationally.  Overall the South East average was 1.45 per thousand.  Their research found thieves are "
most likely to target people living in relatively affluent neighbourhoods who typically have a higher than average number of financial products including credit facilities."

Gareth Johnson reselected as Parliamentary Spokesman for Dartford Conservatives
(Dartford Conservative Association Press Release) Local Conservatives have reselected Gareth Johnson as their prospective parliamentary candidate.  He is married and a father of two who now lives in Hartley; he contested the Dartford seat for the Conservatives the 2005 general election, reducing the Labour majority to 706 votes.

12 October 2006
Coffee morning success
(Dartford Messenger, p18) Macmillan's largest coffee morning raises £3.8 million nationally.  Picture of event at Langafel school

9 October 2006
Major Online Mapping Project Shows "Iron Chain" Between Smoking and Deprivation
(Action on Smoking and Health Website) Report conducted by ASH and Cancer Research UK finds correlation between deprivation and high levels of smoking.  Locally the number of smokers for each ward are set out below.  Hartley and Hodsoll Street are in the top 10% in the whole country for the numbers of non-smokers.  Within Kent only 14 out of 282 council wards have more non-smokers.


M (%)

F (%)


Rank (out of 7932)

Hartley & Hodsoll Street





Longfield, New Barn & Southfleet





Fawkham & W Kingsdown










National average





The director of ASH said "We hope that local Councils, NHS Primary Care Trusts, MPs and decision makers will use these maps as part of their work on tobacco control. This project shows once again why smoking must be top of the list of concerns for everyone who cares about tackling poverty and social exclusion."

5 October 2006
Father thrown across room by lightning strike

(Dartford Messenger, p3) Lightning strikes in Culcroft and Brambledown on Sunday.  Interviews with residents with pictures.

28 September 2006
Hero relives dog attack hell after tot dies

(Dartford Times, p4) Interview with Porchester Close man who saved child from being attacked by dogs. See also 31 August 2006

Green Man, Longfield Hill - Application to vary premises licence
(Dartford Times, p 37) Internal alterations proposed.

Jump to it: 'chute stunt for school
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Picture of teacher planning to jump to raise money for Milestone School.

Good try: new kit for rugby team
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Picture of NAG junior rugby club in new kit, sponsored by Barclays Bank.

1 October 2006
New deacons ordained in September

(Rochester Link, p1) Picture of Rev Elizabeth Robertson of Fawkham and Hartley Parish, ordained on 9 September.

21 September 2006
Offer to kill rabbits is declined

(Dartford Messenger, p9) Longfield Parish Council turn down offer to shoot rabbits at allotments in Whitehill Road.

14 September 2006
Court must decide who killed Lucie

(Dartford Times, p8) Letter from New Ash Green resident, who is against the idea of 'blood money' being paid by defendant in Lucie Blackman trial in Japan.

In bankruptcy
(Dartford Times, p36) Bankruptcy order against resident of West Shaw, Longfield.

7 September 2006
Teenager to put fun back into kids' lives

(Dartford Messenger, p9) 18 year old man from Knightscroft, New Ash Green, who is a member of the North Kent Community Church is going to work with the poor in South Africa for 6 months.  Article mentions pastor and church.

Mail's performance 'well above average'
(Dartford Messenger, p4) 95.4% of first class post in the DA post area delivered on time.

Big cat fever hits village
(Dartford Times, p8) Letter from Longfield resident says the recent story had her "glancing away from Emmerdale and out of the living room window for the first time in ages".

Riding high for mane attraction
(Dartford Messenger, p14) Photo feature on party for four horse loving friends at Speedgate Farm, Fawkham.  They all celebrated milestone birthdays (60, 50, 40, and 30) this year.

31 August 2006
Savaged - Tearful mum reveals how surgeons battled to save tot's arm after vicious dog attack
(Dartford Times, p1) Report on dog attack in Porchester Close.  Interview with mother and neighbours (see also Dartford Messenger, 24 August 2006, BBC News Report 25 August 2006)

Appeal for store carjackers
(Dartford Times, p2) 60 year old lady pulled from her car by thieves on 15 August in Waitrose car park, Longfield, suffering cuts and bruises.

Police request for help - see Kent Police Website for descriptions of thieves.

Man injured
(Dartford Messenger, p10) Accident between car and pedestrian on Main Road, Longfield, on 21 August.

Let the celebrations begin!
(Dartford Messenger, p14) Axton Chase school gets 100% pass rate at grades A-G at GCSE, with 46% getting 5 or more A-C grades.  Picture of four pupils with their results.

24 August 2006
Hero saves boy, 5, from dog attack

(Dartford Messenger, p1) Man saves neighbour's child from attack by pit bull cross in Porchester Close.

Dodge death and move
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Figures from the Office of National Statistics say the life expectancy in Longfield and New Barn is 79.1, making it 6th highest out of Dartford's 21 wards.

First choice
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Axton Chase school records 93.9% pass rate at A level and 30% going onto higher education.

Is this the beast of Main Road?
(Dartford Times, p6) Residents of Main Road, Longfield spot what they believe may be a black panther.  Kent Big Cat Research Centre is investigating.  Pictures of animal and local residents.

17 August 2006
Hospital repair claims slammed

(Dartford Times, p3) Following Channel 4 "Dispatches" programme, Carillion deny they charge £420 to fit a light switch at Darent Valley Hospital, saying they quote a price and the Hosptial Trust either agrees to it or they don't.

New chapter joy
(Dartford Times, p5) Following £95,000 refurbishment of New Ash Green Library, visitor numbers are up 38% and lending by 65%, reversing 3 year decline (picture).

Club cash grant
(Dartford Times, p5) HAWK Youth scheme gets grant from Kent County Council of £18,000 for base.  Money is for an 8-12 year old club in Hartley, New Ash Green and West Kingsdown.

Rain stops play
(Dartford Times, p13) Longfield Summer Festival cancelled because of heavy rain.
Property Market

(Dartford Messenger, Property 31) 4 bed house in Gorsewood Road on market with Sealeys for £415,000.

10 August 2006
On the spot £80 fines for litter louts
(Dartford Times, p15) Sevenoaks Council have taken powers to be able to fine people for littering, fly-posting, grafiti, noise nuisance and not keeping dogs under control.  

House prices to soar once station opens
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Estate agents forecast big rise in property prices for north Kent when Ebbsfleet Station opens in 2007.

Summer summary of fun and games
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Pictures of children's drumming and percussion workshop in New Ash Green.

3 August 2006
Cricket Success
(Dartford Messenger, p 21) Former Hartley resident plays first match for Wiltshire in Minor Counties Championship.

Extra Classrooms
(Dartford Messenger, p 6) Milestone School in Ash Road, Hartley, has applied for additional classrooms and play area.

(Dartford Messenger, Prop 11) Your Move has 4 bed detached house in Parkfield for sale at £495,000

Heartbreak for missing girl's family
(Dartford Times, p 1-2) New Ash Green family of Louise Kerton, who has been missing for 5 years in Germany, speak to the paper about how they cope, and about the new police investigation.  Kent Police request anyone with information to get in touch with them.

22 July 2006
Latest news from Mid Kent Water
Mid Kent Water Website) There is no change in the current hosepipe ban, although the company still have not invoked their powers under the drought order they obtained.  Statistics from boreholes show water levels in the chalk are still very low, and a new rainfall map of the county helps to explain why.  The North Downs area west of the Medway is the driest in the county, with only 70% of the average rainfall last winter, compared with 79-89% for other areas.

13 July 2006
Peer today, friend tomorrow

(Dartford Messenger, p13) Twelve year 9 pupils (pictured) at Axton Chase school complete peer mentoring course.

Hi hoe silver
(Dartford Messenger, p3) RW Emby Design of New Ash Green wins bronze medal at Hampton Court Palace Flower Show.

In remembrance
(Dartford Messenger, p21) Chairman of Hartley Parish Council lays wreath to commemorate 90th anniversary of the Battle of the Somme.

6 July 2006
Property Market

(Dartford Times, Property 1 & 3) Featured property is 5/6 bedroom house in Manor Drive, on the market with Bairstow Eves for £825,000.

22 June 2006
All that jazz: Summer concert entertains the crowds
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Feature on jazz concert at Manor Field for Arthritis Research Campaign (picture).

15 June 2006
Lightning strikes and floods
(Dartford Messenger, p14) Flooding in the area following storms on Tuesday, including Station Road, Longfield.

Scrutiny of school grounds
(Dartford Messenger, p17) Judges from School Grounds in Bloom to visit Hartley Primary School.

Enthusiastic crowds enjoy school event
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Pictures from Hartley RC Church fete.

1 June 2006
Fun of the fair
(Dartford Messenger, p21) Picture feature on the New Ash Green Primary School May Fair.

Well done
(Dartford Messenger, p20) Member of Hartley Art Group has had pictures accepted for exhibition by Royal Society of Miniature Painters.

29 May 2006
Google Trends Launched
(weblink to Google) This is a new service from the search engine Google which tells you which towns search for a particular term the most.  This is done by the online identity of the computer (the IP address number), which Google can use to estimate where the computer is (it's not an exact science).  A trends search finds the top 10 towns searching for that term and then ranks them as a percentage of all searches.  This tends to favour the larger towns.  This means that Dartford only appears to get mentioned for more local searches, thus Dartford comes out at number 1 for searches like Bluewater, Brands Hatch and Erith, and 4th for South Eastern Trains for example.  It also allows comparison between different search terms, this shows the volume of searches for Dartford to be considerably higher than for Gravesend, but equal to Sevenoaks and much less than Bromley.

25 May 2006
Mid Kent Water granted drought order

(Press release) DEFRA has granted Mid Kent Water a drought order which allows them to ban many other uses of water.  However at present the company has delayed implementation, so all that is in force still is last August's hosepipe ban.

If implemented things like car washing, filling private swimming pools and ornamental (ie non-fish/wildlife) ponds and the running of ornamental fountains will be banned.

Home Plan
(Dartford Messenger, p9, 15) Dartford Council grant outline planning permission for new school building and 150 houses at Axton Chase School, Longfield.  A further article said the local PCSOs had solved the parking problem outside the Main Road entrance

The Question of a unitary authority
(Dartford Messenger, p8) The writer from Eynsford points out that the area from Eynsford to New Ash Green looks to Bromley, Dartford or Gravesend for services.  Perhaps they say, Swanley and the "northern parishes" of Sevenoaks should be a unitary authority on its own.

Top safety awards for firms
(Dartford Times, p9) Bovis Homes of New Ash Green wins RoSPA safety award.

Casinos will bring us all misery
(Dartford Messenger, p8) Writer from St Mary's Way, Longfield objects to application for large casinos.

24 May 2006
Court case decision may help Hartley Wood Village Green Claim

(Open Spaces Society Press Release) The Law Lords decision in the Trap Grounds case means that landowners cannot defeat a claim just by fencing the land after an application has been made.  However the application may still be rejected on other grounds.

In depth article

22 May 2006
Sevenoaks well above average for greenhouse gas emissions
(British Gas survey) Survey finds that Sevenoaks district is the 55th (out of 386 boroughs) highest for greenhouse gas emissions.  Each household in the district produces an average 6,463 kg of carbon dioxide annually.  The average for Britain is much lower at 5,595 kg pa.  By contrast neighbouring Dartford (236th - 5,430kg) and Gravesham (244th - 5,406kg) are below the national average.  

The figures were obtained by taking the Department of Trade and Industry's 2003 figures (500kb Excel file) for energy consumption by district and dividing by the number of households.

Emissions from domestic properties account for a quarter of the national total, so they have an important role in meeting the national target of a 20% cut by 2010.

18 May 2006
Clean sweep for roads

(Dartford Times, p3) Figures published by the GMB union found that Sevenoaks District is one of only 3 in the country with no dirty roads.

4 May 2006
Girl priased for 'tireless charity work'
(Dartford Times, p6) 11 year old cancer sufferer from Meopham (pictured) wins Dartford Civic Award for raising hundreds of pounds for Darent Valley Hospital's Lollipop Appeal, including £200 from a jar at the Longfield Fish Bar.

(Dartford Times, p35) Unemployed man from St Mary's Way Longfield made bankrupt.

27 April 2006
Caring for baby Widget
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Picture Widget the lamb at Hartley Bottom Farm.

Little acorns take on oak
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Hartley Parish Council objects to Southwark Council attempting to erect fences on their land in Hartley Wood, after HPC applies to make it a village green.

In the hot seat
(Dartford Messenger, p20) Picture of Cllr Malcolm Harris talking to resident at member's surgery.

20 April 2006
Goods Vehicle Operator's Licence Application
(Dartford Times, p28) K L Express Logistics Ltd of Chapel Wood Enterprises, Ash Road applies for operating licence for 3 goods vehicles and 3 trailers.  Also application in relation to Crossways Business Park, Dartford.

Open Day
(Dartford Messenger, p20) 135 attend Parish Plan open day.

James Gaywood
(Dartford Messenger, p20) Is elected vice-chairman of Sevenoaks Council.

13 April 2006
A gift to last generations?
(Dartford Times, p8) Hartley resident writes to strongly support green issues - "People must remember we are custodians of our natural surroundings.  We don't own them and we don't have the right to do as we please with them."

Farms spring into action
(Dartford Times, p16) Pictures of new born lambs at Hartley Bottom Farm.  Shop and pony sanctuary mentioned.

Teen's concerted effort for sick kids
(Dartford Times, p17) Wellfield teenager and friends (pictured) to stage charity concert in Dartford to raise money for Darent Valley Hospital Lollipop Appeal to create a children's high dependency unit there.

Howay the lads: students show chants can be a fine thing
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Axton Chase pupils (pictured) take part in recording football chants for world cup song by Ricky.

10 April 2006
Surprise snow

Rectory Meadow

A couple of inches of snow fell in the previous evening, well after the start of spring!  However snow this late in the year is not unheard of, snow fell in London on the 2nd June in 1975, and more heavily on 27th May 1821 - see link.

Mid Kent Water apply for drought order
(Press release) Mid Kent and Southern water are applying to government department DEFRA for further restrictions on water use which will include restrictions on washing cars and windows, filling swimming or paddling pools, or watering greens and allotments.  A public enquiry is to be held today in Maidstone.

6 April 2006
Man denies threatening pub bouncers

(Dartford Times, p 9) Man from Westshaw in Longfield sent for trial by Dartford magistrates, accused of threatening bouncer of the Litten Tree in Dartford with a baseball bat.

'Shake up won't harm policing'
(Dartford Times, p22) Police claim area reorganisation to fewer areas, which involves moving Hartley and New Ash Green into the Tonbridge area, will allow them to deal with major incidents, but keep local focus.

Sponsored walk to take in churches
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Christian Aid sponsored walk to take place on May 13th to take in Longfield, Fawkham, Ash and Hartley churches.

30 March 2006
Sisters are 'shoeing' it for themselves
(Dartford Times, p19) Follow up story about Puss in Boots shoe business from Farm Holt, New Ash Green, and its recovery following a robbery last November (pictured).

Cameras switch on for safety
(Dartford Times, p23) Speed cameras will be in Ash Road next week.

27 March 2006
New benefits clinic for Hartley
(Sevenoaks Council Press Release) For a six month period a weekly housing benefit and council tax benefit advice point will be available in Hartley Library from 2-4pm on Wednesdays from 29 March.  There will be 3 half hour appointments which will have to be booked at the council on 01732 227000, followed at 3.30pm by a drop in clinic for more simple enquiries.  Cllr Ramsay said "this convenient service will avoid the need to travel to the council's offices in Sevenoaks or the local office in Swanley"

Proposal for Mobile Phone Base station at Hartley Grange
(Hartley Parish Council Press Release) Orange want to build a 20m mobile phone mast at Hartley Grange, near Billings Hill Shaw and Church Road.  Plans are available in Hartley Library.  This is not a planning application yet, but what is called "Pre-planning consultation", but a planning application is very likely to follow.

For details on mobile phone masts in Hartley see our masts page.

24 March 2006
Cops warn kids: Don't take pic of lamp post
(The Sun, p 23) Police community officers stop 3 Hartley children (pictured) for taking pictures of his initials on a lamp post on Hoselands Hill.  Newspaper and boy's father critical of police.

See also "Officers stop lamppost boys" (BBC website 24.3.06)

23 March 2006
Asbestos death

(Dartford Messenger, p5) Maidstone coroner finds that 67 year old Gorsewood Road man died last November, because he lived near an asbestos factory as a child.

By royal appointment
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Church Road lady was one of the members of the Kent National Association of Decorative and Fine Arts presented to the Duchess of Gloucester, after they gave a new altar frontal to Canterbury Cathedral.

21 March 2006
Woodland Fire

(News Shopper Website) Dartford fire brigade called to fire in woods by Porchester Close, caused by kids' campfire.  12 sq metres of land destroyed.

16 March 2006

Five-a-side with a twist
(Dartford Times, p5) Two brothers and a sister from Pitfield are dressing up as dragons and elephants to raise money for the National Children's Home and the National Epilepsy Society.  They were in Longfield collecting on Saturday 18th and plan to run the London Marathon to make the £6,000 target.

Moo-ving On
(Dartford Times, p10) Hartley farmer (pictured) welcomes end of beef export ban.  He recalled the ban coming of 1998, likening it to the foot and mouth crises of the 1950s and 1960s.

Trying to tackle the thieves at rugby clubs
(Dartford Messenger, p 10) £3,000 stolen when thieves broke through a fire door at New Ash Green Rugby Club, escaping in a van across the fields towards Redhill Wood (picture).

Lots of lolly for hospital appeal
(Dartford Messenger, p15) Axton Chase pupils raise money for Darent Valley Hospital appeal for children's high dependency unit.  Fundraising included pop-idol themed event (pictured).

Quality is rewarded
(Dartford Messenger, p16) KCC Chairman John London (pictured with Cllrs Gaywood, Oxtoby, Barnett, Coutts, Harris) opens new parish office at Hartley Library.  He also presented the council with its "quality council" certificate (this has rather a limited meaning - see in depth article)

15 March 2006
Congratulations Barclays
(FHC) Congratulations to Barclays Bank, whose staff were seen clearing up the litter outside the branch in Longfield today.

9 March 2006
Pensioner's family slam death verdict
(Dartford Times, p2) Gravesend Coroner records an open verdict on 81 year old lady from St Mary's Way, Longfield.  Her family was not happy with this because they said it left their questions about her treatment at the hospital unanswered.

Van cams alert
(Dartford Times, p 17) Mobile speed cameras will be at Ash Road from 13-17 March.

2 March 2006
Churches pull together to save congregation
(Gravesend Messenger, p15) Hartley United Reformed Church building to close after last service on 14 May, but congregation to share All Saints' Church holding URC services at 11am.  URC minister said "we love gathering in our much loved buildings, but at the end of the day, it's people and relationship with God that matter.

As a result of the closure the Glad Tidings Bookshop, which opens on Saturday mornings in the URC Church Hall, are looking for a new home.

(pictures of Church and Glad Tidings Bookshop)

New council leader is welcomed
(Dartford Times, p5) Cllr Jeremy Kite (pictured) of Longfield ward is elected new leader of Dartford council.

Town's top of planning list
(Dartford Times, p5) Sevenoaks won a higher percentage of planning appeals in the second half of 2005 than any other Kent authority (74%).

Disgust over unholy attack
(Dartford Times, p8) Letter from New Ash Green resident condemning vandalism of RC Church in Hartley as "the lowest of the low", adding "this just shows the complete lack of respect we have in our society today".

1 March 2006
Police force power to move from town
(Dartford & Swanley Express, p 1) Sevenoaks Council vote to move Hartley and New Ash Green from the North Kent Police Division, based at Gravesend, to the division based at Tonbridge.  New Ash Green MP, Michael Fallon, spoke in favour, although he did concede that the New Ash Green area would be much further from their police headquarters under the proposals than at present.

See in depth article

23 February 2006
Priest fears religious hate motive in Church attack
(Dartford Times, p2) Vandals break into St Francis de Sales RC church, stealing sherry and the CCTV tape, and breaking a statue of Mother Teresa.  Interview and picture of Fr Hugh Bridge.

See letter 2 March

Tax bill set to increase
Dartford Times, p7) Sevenoaks council raise council tax by 4.9% for 2006/7.  Kent County Council increases their precept by 4.75%.  Quote from Hartley and Hodsoll Street councillor Ramsay.

Tsunami appeal fundraiser success
(Dartford Times, p15) Two women from New Ash Green raise £8,000 for a Sri Lankan village (picture).

Bottle attack
(Dartford Times, p31) 41 year old man attacked by gang outside Badger Pub in New Ash Green, who broke a bottle over his head.

16 February 2006
Care Centre plan given go-ahead
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Planning permission given for dementia respite care centre at Brickfield Farm, Longfield.

A welcome use of space
(Dartford Messenger, prop 3) Feature on The Kaben, Woodland Avenue (pictured), on the market with Your Move for £469,500

9 February 2006
Thousands of pupils off sick as illness hits the classrooms
(Dartford Messenger, p 4) Many schools hit by an outbreak of the milder form of flu - Influenza B, and what is believed to be gastroenteritis.  One school hit was Milestone School in Hartley (pictured) with 17 pupils off sick the week beginning 9 January.

Ready for an executive decision
(Dartford Messenger, prop 3)  New 5 bedroom house in Gorse Way to let with Ashton Burinshaw for £2,500 pcm (picture).

New high for building land
(Dartford Messenger, prop 6) Baistow Eves has a plot for sale with planning permission for a 4 bed house in Longfield Avenue, New Barn.  It is 90 x 45 feet or 0.09 of an acre, and offers "above £200,000" are invited, making an equivalent of £2.15 million per acre.

2 February 2006
Snow fun for street gangs
(Dartford Messenger, p 6) Hartley/New Ash Green Youth Worker claims scheme to take youths to Chatham dry ski slope is a success.  He says many hang around with little to do due to social deprivation and poor local public transport links. Police have given a grant of £950.

Young, enthusiastic pupils celebrate the Chinese new year in style
(Dartford Messenger, p 5) Picture feature of celebrations at Hartley Primary School.

1 February 2006
Spotlight on Hartley
(Gravesend Today, pp 16-17) Very good short article about Hartley past and present with pictures of All Saints' Church and Hartley Bottom Farm.

19 January 2006
Hospital school makes a recovery
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Interview with headmistress of the West Kent Hospital School in Longfield, where she praises the help they received from Axton Chase School after the fire in November.

12 January 2006
Memories of when world was linked by telegrams

(Dartford Messenger, p14) Interview with former Hartley resident (pictured) who worked as a telegraph operator from 1966 to 1991.  Detailed description of the job in the days before computers and mobile phones.

Panto Friends
(Dartford Messenger, p17) Performance by professional panto players at Langafel Primary School (picture)

5 January 2006
Quake aid is on the way
(Dartford Times, p 16) Hartley Girl Guides mentioned as one of the local groups who contributed to ¾ ton of blankets and tents being sent to the Asian Earthquake zone.

Families devastated as pet dogs are stolen
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Two dogs vanish from workplace at Fawkham Road, Longfield, feared stolen.

Tranquil chalk grassland becomes nature reserve
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Parish Council designates Rectory Meadow as a local nature reserve (picture).  (Unfortunately the article does not mention the hard work done by the North West Kent Countryside Project to return the area to the chalk grassland)

Badgers at risk as cattle disease looms
(Dartford Times, p6) Farmers raise concerns about the risks of bovine TB, which meant the slaughter of whole herds in the 1950s.  However they and the RSPCA agree more research is needed on whether badgers are to blame.