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News Index 2007

Previous Year's News

Links to rest of site

Ash Road 18/1, 1/2, 16/12, 20/12
Bramblefield 22/3, 8/11
Bridge, Fr Hugh 22/1, 8/2
Bumblebees Toddler club 11/10
Caxton Close 2/8
Charity 1/2
 - Arthritis Research 5/7
 - Kenward Trust 25/10
 - Liberty Bear 4/10
Cherry Trees 11/10
Church Road 30/8, 6/12
 - Property 5/7
 - Ash Parish 18/10
 - All Saints Hartley 27/9
 - RC 22/1, 8/2, 11/10
Conservatives 12/4
Council Tax 8/3
Country Club 23/8
Courts 23/11
Crime 1/1, 4/1, 1/3, 21/6, 11/10
Dogs 23/8, 20/9
Elections 11/4, 12/4, 3/5
Electricity 18/1
Fairby Grange 8/2, 20/9
Falconry 27/1
 - Foot and Mouth 23/8, 27/9
 - Charity 30/8
 - Crime 29/11
 - Hospital 4/1
 - Three Gates Road 20/12
 - Valley Road 29/11
Fire Brigade 18/1, 25/1, 24/5
Fly tipping 25/3
Gaywood, Cllr James 31/5, 25/10
Gilbert & Sullivan Society 14/6
Gorse Way 22/11
Gorsewood Road 15/11
Grange Way 1/3
Green Energy 15/3, 26/3
Hartley Bottom Road 8/5
Hartley Hill 25/1
Health 28/6
Hodsoll Street 18/1
Horse Riding 20/12
Hoselands Hill 16/12, 20/12
 - Air Training Corps 31/5
 - Allotments 23/8
 - Axton Chase School 18/1, 29/3
 - Capelands 20/12
 - Cats 20/9
 - Charity 4/1, 18/1, 29/3, 5/4, 30/8
 - Christmas 20/12
 - Church 4/1, 1/2
 - Council Tax 15/3
 - Crime 2/8, 23/8, 20/12
 - Farm Holt 20/12
 - Fencing 18/1
 - Floral Explosion 29/11
 - Honours 11/1, 18/1
 - Longfield Road 10/5
 - Main Road 20/12
 - Nationwide B/S 2/8, 23/8
 - Parish Council 23/8
 - Police 11/10
 - The Drive 27/9
 - Turnstone 21/6
 - Waitrose 28/6
 - Waste Management 10/5
Manor Drive 4/10
Manor Road 18/1, 23/8
Mercer Scaffolding 23/8
Merton Avenue 4/10
National Lottery 18/1
New Ash Green
 - Ayelands 23/8
 - Bazes Shaw 18/1
 - Budgens 14/8, 6/12, 20/12, 27/12
 - Caling Croft 4/10
 - CCTV 11/10
 - Charity 1/2, 28/6
 - Council Tax 8/3
 - Crime 1/3, 23/8, 14/8, 22/11
 - Double Taxation 14/2, 22/2, 1/3, 8/3, 22/3
 - Farm Holt 4/1, 22/11
 - Knights Croft 14/6
 - Magistrates 22/11
 - National Lottery 18/1
 - Punchcroft 21/6, 28/6
 - School 25/1, 1/2, 8/3
 - The Row 1/1, 4/1, 18/1
 - Try Angle awards 19/7
 - Village Day 19/7
 - Walks 24/5
 - Woolwich 17/5
 - Youth Theatre 30/8
New Barn
 - Crime 19/7
 - Fire 25/10
 - Kite, Joy 22/11
Northfield 19/4
Northfield (road) 27/1
Police 11/10
Pond 8/11
Population 20/2
Porchester Close 8/2, 20/9
Post Office 22/2, 1/3, 2/10, 11/10, 20/12
Property Market 4/10
Railways 19/3, 28/6, 15/11
Ridley 18/1
Road Accidents 8/5, 16/12, 6/12, 20/12
Russell Court 30/8
St George's Square 30/8
 - Fawkham 25/1, 31/5, 27/9
 - Hartley Primary 3/5, 17/5, 24/5, 4/10
 - Langafel Primary 28/6, 26/7
 - Milestone 25/1, 24/5, 28/6, 20/9
 - NAG Primary 3/5
 - Our Lady of H 20/9
 - Steep Hill School 15/3
Social Club 1/3
 - Horse riding 19/4
 - Petanque 23/8
 - Walking 5/4
Water 28/2, 15/3
Weather 18/1
Wellfield 22/3
Woodland Avenue 22/3, 24/5

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27 December 2007
Jingle Tills
(Dartford Times, p1)
Reprieved store could be replaced (Dartford Messenger, p2) Supermarket in New Ash Green reprieved after Co-op agrees to open store there after Budgens closes on 13 January.  Sevenoaks Council had organised a survey which got 340 replies.  

Fatal collision 'unavoidable'
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Coroner returns an accidental death verdict on Kenneth May, 79, of Castle Hill, who had been hit by a car while crossing the Brent in April.  He had worked for Dartford Council, first as a gardener, then in the housing department.

Magistrates sworn in
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Picture of new magistrate from New Ash Green.

Hundreds see Santa's arrival
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Picture of Hartley RC School's Christmas Fair.

20 December 2007
Crash hell
(Dartford Times, p4)
Driver flees crash van (Dartford Messenger, p4)
Picture of car involved in accident on Hoselands Hill at 12.30pm on 13th.

Fantastic lights right on your doorstep
(Dartford Messenger, p2-3) Picture of elaborate Christmas display outside house in Main Road, Longfield.

Dawn raids yield 19 arrests
(Dartford Messenger, p5) 25 year old woman from Farm Holt, New Ash Green charged with fraud by false representation.

See also "Woman on fraud charge after police raid arrest" (Sevenoaks Chronicle, 13.12.07, p5)

Driver threatens pony girl
(Dartford Messenger, p6) 9 year old girl and aunt threatened by driver in Three Gates Road, Fawkham.

Nativity plays
(Dartford Messenger, p11&13) Pictures of nativity plays at Hartley and Langafel Primary Schools.

Shane shines
(Dartford Messenger, p17) Picture feature on 19 year old from Ash Road, who is playing Buttons at the Pantomime at the Mick Jagger Centre, Dartford.

Trouble in store
Supermarket closure will leave village stranded

(Dartford Messenger, p18; Dartford Times, p14) Letter and picture from New Ash Green resident, who says they feel they "have been sold down the river by people who do not care."  In letter to Times two residents of Capelands fear the total closure of the shopping centre.  While they like living in New Ash Green, they feel all authorities have failed to prevent decline of centre.

Post office deliveries
(Postwatch annual report 2006/7) 94.9% of 1st class mail posted in the DA postal area arrived next day, down from 95.3% the previous year.  In the TN postcode area, which covers Ash village, the result was 93.6% (down from 95.8%).

16 December 2007
Hoselands Hill Accident
(Radio Kent, 11am bulletin)
Police hunting for a lorry driver. Collision with car in Ash Road on Thursday, driver and 91 year old passenger taken to Darent Valley Hospital.

13 December 2007
Pond makes a SPLASH (Dartford Times, p13)
Puddle ducks get new pond (Dartford Messenger, p11)
Picture of re-opening of Hartley pond by Sheila Eames, after restoration by the Community Wardens under Adam Osborn and the Friends of the Pond.

Owners homeless after blaze wrecks house
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Fire at Fawkham Manor Farm attended by fire engines from Dartford, Horton Kirby, Larkfield, Swanscombe, Chatham, and Halling

6 December 2007
Store closure 'ruins' village (Dartford Times, p6)
Budgens closure anger
(Dartford Messenger, p5)
Furore over plans to close Budgens store in New Ash Green.  Pictures of protest rally.

Dramatic opportunity for little dragons
(Dartford Messenger) Picture feature of New Ash Green Drama Dragons, an acting group for the under 16s.

Boy hit by car
(Dartford Times, p8) 11 year old boy taken to hospital with a suspected broken leg after being hit by a car at 3.45pm, Monday.

29 November 2007
Dealer caged after terror arms fears

(Dartford Times, p5) 52 year old man from Valley Road, Fawkham jailed for 4 years after admitting charge of arranging arms sale between Iran and Kuwait.  He also faces confiscation order of £53,390.

Go dutch
(Dartford Times, p16) See how Dutch celebrate Christmas at Floral Explosion, Station Road, Longfield on 8 and 9 December.

23 November 2007
Dad to sue hop farm over plan for wedding

(Kent & Sussex Courier, p5) Father from Hartley to sue Hop Farm after he claims new development spoiled the expected view.

22 November 2007
Teen thug faces long jail term for knife attacks

(Dartford Messenger, p5) 19 year old man from Farm Holt in New Ash Green convicted of affray in New Ash Green on New Year's Day, and for wounding another man in New Ash Green on September 10th.

Council leader son pays warm tribute
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Obituary and picture of Joy Kite (80) of New Barn, mother of Dartford Council leader.

Honour for Justice of Peace
(Dartford Times, p19) New Ash Green magistrate wins Community Sentence Award for Excellence from Lord Chief Justice, for promoting community sentences.

(Dartford Messenger, Prop 1&6) Kilrymont, Gorse Way, built in 1922 on market with Hartley Estates for £645,000.

15 November 2007
We've lost our sound barrier

(Dartford Messenger, p15) Residents of Gorsewood Road complain after Network Rail fell trees by the railway track, to prevent leaves on the line.

Three in court on wounding charges
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Trial of those accused of wounding a New Ash Green man in September. (verdict - 22 November)

8 November 2007
Volunteers are busy creating a pond

(Dartford Messenger, p25) Picture of Adam Osbourn, Hartley's community warden and other volunteers and wardens, working to preserve Hartley's ancient pond.

Property Market
(Dartford Messenger, Property 13) One of the few properties that can be bought outright on the Bramblefield estate is up for sale.  The 3 bed bungalow at Sloane Square is on the market with Walker Croft for £425,000.

1 November 2007
Revolt over KCC 'encroachment'
(KM Business, page 1; additional reporting FHC) Kent Bus and Operator Group complain about losing contracts to Kent Top Travel, a county council run business.  They claim they have new buses, more expensive staff but can bid up to 20% less.  One of the contracts won by Kent Top Travel is the evening buses 423 and 489 to New Ash Green.  In reply KCC say their various businesses have contributed £3 million to offset council tax.

Disease threat to livestock
(Dartford Times, p17) Interview with owner of Hartley Bottom Farm about the threat posed by Blue Tongue Disease, after it reaches Sevenoaks.  The farm has 800 sheep and 200 cattle, which have to be checked daily.

25 October 2007
Weekly bin fire tackled

(Dartford Messenger, p2) Gravesend fire brigade put out fire in recycling bin at New Barn Road, Longfield, which is a regular occurance.

Mayors learn about the Kenward Trust
(Dartford Messenger, p21) Cllr Gaywood of Hartley pictured at event run by Kenward Trust, which is a charity that helps people recover from drug and alcohol abuse.

18 October 2007
Harvest Feast

(Dartford Messenger, p13) Picture of harvest feast at Ash parish church, attended by 70, which raised £320 for the poverty and hope appeal.

11 October 2007
Longfield Hill Post Office
(Dartford Messenger, p2 & 16) Following last week's plan by the Post Office to close the branch, the subpostmasters there say they were planning to retire anyway.  Local Conservative councillor Perfitt blames the government.

There's a real buzz at Bumblebees
(Dartford Messenger, p 22) Picture feature on parent and toddler group, which met at Manor Field on Mondays.

On the beat in the parish
(Dartford Times, p10) PCSO Tony Quilter to concentrate on Longfield and Southfleet, as a new PCSO is appointed to Sutton at Hone and Hawley (picture)

Priest on a mission is welcomed to village
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p18) Picture and profile of Fr Alex Saba, the new RC priest in Hartley.  He was born in Togo, and worked in the Congo before coming to the UK in 1995.

Calls for agencies to pay more to cover CCTV cost
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p8) Sevenoaks council make "veiled threats" to scale down CCTV service unless other agencies contribute more.  Locally the council runs the CCTV in New Ash Green.

(Dartford Messenger, p21) The new PSCO for Hartley is Lisanne Fry, who can be contacted at the parish office.

Disappearing dogs
(Dartford Messenger, p21) Spate of dog thefts reported outside shops in Cherry Trees.

4 October 2007
Wave of protest as four branches face axe

(Dartford Messenger p5) Reaction to plans to close some sub-post offices.

Upgrade for school is an improvement
(Dartford Messenger, p5) Headteacher at Hartley Primary School gets county council to make improvements to school.

Property Market
(Dartford Messenger, property 4) Three newly built houses in Manor Drive on the market for £595 - 625,000

Animal lovers grin and bear it on trek
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Friends from Merton Avenue and Caling Croft take part in 4 day hike in Romania for Liberty Bear Sanctuary Project there.  Picture.

Longfield Station bucks trend with passenger growth
(FHC) Latest figures from the Office of the Rail Regulator for 2005/6, show that while patronage at Swanley, Farningham Road, Meopham, and Sole Street all fell, Longfield was the only local station to increase the number of passengers.  

See Office of Rail Regulator website for fuller breakdown of the figures.  The totals below are a total of entries and exits at the station, so if you buy a return you would be counted twice.  The rankings given below are for the county of Kent.





2005-6 Rank






Farningham Rd















Sole Street





2 October 2007
Post Office plans to close Longfield Hill post office

(Post Office website) The Post Office announced the first round of plans to reduce the number of post offices in the UK.  58 are planned to close in Kent, including the local one at Longfield Hill.  This will leave a total of 295 offices in the county.

Overall this area has fared better than might have been feared as the cuts are greater elsewhere in the Dartford area with closures planned for Mead Road and Temple Hill in Dartford and at Wilmington, Farningham and Eynsford.

Longfield Hill Post Office was opened on 14 June 1933 after a 20 year campaign for one by Longfield Parish Council.  Its closure would mean that part of the urban area of New Barn will be more than 1 mile from a post office.

See Post Office - Network Change for more details.  There is now a 6 week consultation period, and no closures will take place until January 2008.

Metro comes to Longfield Station
For the first time, copies of the free London morning newspaper the Metro, were being handed out at Longfield Station.

27 September 2007
Payment in nick of time saves time in the nick

(Dartford Messenger, p9) Man from The Drive, Longfield pays up council tax arrears in time to save being sent to jail, the first such sentence for council tax non-payment by Dartford magistrates.

Social event for church funds
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Picture of "Ritzy Tea" event that raised money for improvements to All Saints' Church.

Farm trips scrapped over livestock fears
(Dartford Times, p9) Farm visits stopped at Hartley Bottom Farm during foot and mouth outbreak.  Farmer explains the importance of being able to move cattle at this time of year.

Class act
(Dartford Times, p14) Feature on Fawkham CE primary school.

20 September 2007
Tributes for Emma, 106

(Dartford Times, p13) Death of Hartley's oldest resident, Emma Hodgkins of Fairby Grange, although she had only moved there in November 2006.  Pictures.

Hope of being best gymnast in China bar none
(Dartford Messenger, p10) Picture feature on Milestone School pupil, who competes for Britain in the Special Olympics in October in Shanghai.

Fun day out raises money for school
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Pictures from Our Lady of Hartley School Fun Day.

Perfect Pets winners
(Dartford Times, p 9) Picture of Smokey the Cat from Longfield, who came second in the readers' vote.

Our brave little boy still has nightmares
(Dartford Times p 4-5) Follow up on story of boy from Porchester Close, who was attacked last year by a pit bull terrier (see previous article).

30 August 2007
Bungalow 'harmful to character' and must come down

(Dartford Messenger, p2) Sevenoaks Council orders demolition of £600,000 dream retirement home in Church Road.  The 63 year old owner said "This has shattered all our hopes for the future".  Council is unhappy with height of basement above ground, however it is hardly visible in photograph in the paper.

See also "Cottage must go" (The Sun, 5.10.07, p15)

In the pink as riders raise cash for charity
(Dartford Messenger, p15) 100 riders raise £9,000 for cancer charity in 'pink' event at Speedgate Saddlery of Fawkham.  Pictures.

Care home in line for parachute money
(Dartford Messenger, p15) 53 year old chef (pictured) from St George's Square raises £1,000 for Russell Court Care Home.

Coffee morning is an aromatic success
(Dartford Messenger, p23) Picture of event held at Jubilee Hall, Longfield.

Drama pupils ready to put on a performance
(Dartford Messenger, p25) Picture of New Ash Green Youth Theatre rehearsing Alice in Wonderland.

23 August 2007
Farmers fight to stay afloat
(Dartford Times, p5)
Braced for the worst (Dartford Messenger, p7)
Interview with Hartley farmer about the problems the restrictions on cattle movement, in the wake of the foot and mouth outbreak in Surrey.  Hartley Bottom Farm has 1,000 animals which can't even be moved around the farm.

Street is hit by second ram-raid a year on
(Dartford Messenger, p10-11) Article on problem of ram raids in district, featuring especially on Station Road, Longfield.  Nationwide and Co-op mentioned (pictures).

Bungled raid at race track
(Dartford Times, p3) Failed ram-raid on cash machine at Brands Hatch, vehicle used found abandoned in Ayelands, New Ash Green.

Ground force team
(Dartford Times, p7) With the help of a donation from Longfield Parish Council, volunteers of TRACS are starting allotment at Whitehill Road for adults with learning disabilities (picture).

Goods vehicle licence application
(Dartford Times, p90) Application by Mercer Scaffolding to operate 6 goods vehicles from Manor Farm, Longfield Hill.

Perfect pet competition
(Dartford Times, p79) Pictures of dogs Buster and Jack from Hartley.

Petanque players win tournament for eighth time
(Dartford Messenger, p22) Picture of three members of Hartley Country Club, who were part of the winning England tri-nations team.

14 August 2007
Getaway driver's let off

(Sevenoaks Chronicle) Rochester man, involved in attempted robbery at Budgens, New Ash Green in October 2006, given community service order.

2 August 2007
Thieves don't dig failed raid

(Dartford Times, p2) Thieves fail in ram raid attempt on Nationwide Building Society in Longfield at 3am on 1 August. (click on link for picture)

See also "Ram Raid at building society" (Dartford Messenger, p9)

Anonymous tip-off snared benefit cheat
(Dartford Times, p 11) Caxton Close lady admits claiming housing and council tax benefit while working full time.  Given 100 hours unpaid work.

26 July 2007
Class Act

(Dartford Times, p9) Picture feature on Langafel CE Primary School.  Praised by both parents and pupils, one year 6 pupil said "We shall leave with lots of happy memories"

19 July 2007
Cannabis found after growers are grassed up
(Dartford Messenger, p5)
£35,000 Canabis swoop (Dartford Times, p3)
Police raid finds 280 cannabis plants in house at Hillview Road, New Barn.  Estimated value £35,000.  Interviews with neighbours and police tips to spot a suspected cannabis factory.

Village Day: event gives entertainment to hundreds
(Dartford Messenger, p21) Feature on New Ash Green Village day, including picture of May Queen and her attendants.

Try angle awards
(Dartford Messenger, p9) 17 year old girl from New Ash Green receives this youth award for achievement in music.

5 July 2007
All that jazz

(Dartford Messenger, p20) Pictures of Jazz Picnic at Manor Field in aid of Arthritis Research.

Property Market
(Dartford Messenger, Property 1&4) Feature on Little Stirrups, Church Road, on market for £750,000.

28 June 2007
'Miracle' drug court battle

(Dartford Times, p 2) Hartley man tells of the positive effect he believes the drug Aricept has had on his wife's Alzheimer's condition. His wife was only given the drug after the intervention of Dr Stoate, the MP for Dartford.  He said denying others the drug is disgraceful.

Commuter disruption as train hits tree on line
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Trains delayed at Longfield on 26th when train hit tree at Sole Street at 8am.  Fortunately no-one was injured.

School fair is a cash-spinner
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Picture feature of Langafel School Summer Fair, which raised £4,000 up £1,000 on 2006.

Mum is learning the hard way
(Dartford Messenger, p13) Picture of 38 year old Adult Learner award winner from Punchcroft, New Ash Green. (see Gravesend Reporter, 21 June 2007)

A new look for Waitrose in Longfield
(Dartford Messenger, p18) Advertisement feature on the revamp of the store with £3 shopping token.

Beach day: staff dress in Bermuda shorts and grass skirts to rustle up money for special school
(Dartford Messenger, p22) Picture of staff at Charities Aid Foundation of Tonbridge, who raised money for the Milestone School.

21 June 2007
Store scam thief jailed
(Gravesend Reporter, p4)
A new meaning to cash and carry
(Dartford Messenger, p1)
26 year old man from Turnstone, Longfield jailed for 5 years, for theft from supermarkets.  Thefts involved intercepting vacuum tube cash railway in roof.

Dyslexic mum's a top learner
(Gravesend Reporter, p6) 38 year old from New Ash Green wins individual learner award from National Institute of Adult Continuing Education.

14 June 2007
Successful performance

(Dartford Messenger, p20) Favourable review for "faultless" Mikado by Hartley Gilbert and Sullivan Society.

Review blow for sacked 'risk assessment' teacher
(Dartford Times, p9) Teacher from Painters Ash Primary School, who lives in Knightscroft, New Ash Green, denied appeal against council's decision to dismiss her.  She was sacked after she compiled a risk assessment that one pupil was a risk to others.  She won widespread support for her case.  KCC Chief Executive denied that was the reason she was dismissed, but agreed the lack of a right of appeal was wrong.

31 May 2007
Chairman anticipates a rewarding year
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p9) Cllr James Gaywood of Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward becomes chairman of Sevenoaks District Council.  His charity will be the Brain and Spine Foundation.  Picture and biographical information.

Class Act - Fawkham Valley Primary School Years 5-6
(Dartford Times, p15) Picture feature on the school of 103 pupils in 4 classes.  The school has many after school clubs including cookery, music and sport.

Dedication Rewarded - cadets celebrate success in gruelling charity challenge
(Dartford Messenger, p20) 2511 Longfield Air Training Corps complete St Dunstans Cadet Challenge, run by the blind servicemen's charity.  Picture.

24 May 2007
Class Act - Hartley Primary School Silver Birch Class

(Dartford Times, p15) Picture feature of Tudor "Blind Date"  developing "speaking and listening skills, using persuasive language to convince King Henry VIII to select a queen from a panel of hopeful candidates".  School has 14 classes and a newly appointed leadership team.

Public Notice - Woodland Avenue
(Dartford Times, p19) KCC plan to close road between Church Road and Larksfield in week beginning 11 June 2007, for work by EDF.  Local access only.

Fireman's lift for special school pupils
(Dartford Messenger, p15) Thameside Fire Station raise £800 for Milestone School (picture)

Hold me back: Residents queue up to join wellness walks
(Dartford Messenger, p15) Picture feature on walks, that begin from New Ash Green Library on Wednesdays at 10.30am.

Young stars shine at talent event
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p4) 75 children at Hartley Primary School compete in "Stars in their eyes" event to raise money for school funds (picture).  So far £1,400 raised for playground refurbishment.

17 May 2007
Young stars give all in charity gig
(Dartford Messenger, p14) Picture feature on Hartley Primary School's 4th annual "Stars in their eyes" concert, to buy playground equipment.

No longer with the Woolwich
(Dartford Messenger, p2) New Ash Green Woolwich branch to be renamed Barclays.

10 May 2007
Heavy fine for scrap dealer
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Longfield Road, Longfield man fined £15,000 + costs after prosecution by Environment Agency for illegally dumping controlled waste at a scrapyard.

A resounding victory for the Conservatives
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p6-7) report and pictures on election.

Village votes in favour of status quo
(Sevenoaks Chroncile, p6) After a close run race, the same councillors are re-elected in New Ash Green.  Independent councillor Pett said the opposition campaign had been "poisonous", for the Conservatives Cllr Bruce said they "did not go out of their way" to be unpleasant.

8 May 2007
Motorbike crash referred to IPCC

(BBC News) Motorcyclist from New Ash Green and his passenger, injured in crash on Hartley Bottom Road at 11.30pm on Sunday 7th.  

See also "Crash Probe" (Dartford Messenger, 10.5.07, p14)

3 May 2007
Conservatives triumph in Hartley elections

The Conservatives retained the Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward of Sevenoaks council with an increased majority.  They polled 61.8%, the Independent candidates were in second on 27.4%, with Labour trailing in third place on 10.9%.  The full result which was announced after over 6 hours of counting at 3.14pm, is on the Sevenoaks Council website.

Meanwhile the same three Conservative councillors also retained their seats on Hartley Parish Council, as the "Putting Hartley First" group won all 13 seats for the second time running.  The percentage vote was similar to 2003, but there was a small swing of 2.4% to the Independent candidates.  The result was the very last one announced; the counters started at 9am, and the result was read out at 3.30pm!  A big thank you was extended for all the hard work of those at the count.

Conservative candidate for Greenhithe, Penny Cole, won a seat on Hartley Parish Council, but failed to get onto Dartford Borough Council.

Click here for full result and analysis

Janine takes up deputy's role
(Dartford Messenger, p15) New deputy head appointed at Hartley Primary School.

Hats off to young pupils on parade
(Dartford Messenger, p15) Picture and article about Spring Hat Parade at New Ash Green Primary School.

19 April 2007
Horse ride

(Dartford Messenger, p17) Opening of horse riding route on Northfield had to be postponed after vandals removed markers, leaving dangerous holes in the ground.  Suspicion has fallen on objectors to horse riding, but Hartley and Ash councils are determined this will go ahead.

12 April 2007
Victory for Tory agent

(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p1 & 3) Former agent to Sevenoaks Conservative party wins £38,340 damages for unfair dismissal and disability related discrimination, after being sacked while suffering from breast cancer.  The tribunal found no evidence of sexual discrimination.

Hartley Conservatives fight elsewhere
(Dartford Messenger, p4-5) Penny Cole of Woodland Avenue is running in Greenhithe Ward for the Conservatives.  In Hartley she is also running for the parish council under the "Putting Hartley First" grouping.

Andrew Garwood, currently ward member for Hartley and Hodsoll Street, has moved across to fight Farningham, Horton Kirby and South Darenth ward for the Tories.

11 April 2007
Nine candidates to fight for district council seats
(Sevenoaks Council website) Voters in the marginal Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward are to have a real choice in this year's election to Sevenoaks Council.  Nine candidates are to fight for the 3 seats.  They are:

  • Conservative: Larry Abraham, James Gaywood*, Brian Ramsay* (* sitting member)
  • Independent: Steven Glover, Lyndon Newins, John Topping
  • Labour: Joe Coutts, Jerry Swain, Michael Tuke

The last election was very close between the Conservatives (53%) and Independents (47%), at this election all that is needed is a swing of 3.1% for the Independents to take the seat.  And what difference will Labour make this time around?

In Ash, the Independents are hoping to make gains.  Last time Alan Pett won 46% of the vote, with the Conservatives averaging 34% and Labour 20%.  

15 seek parish council election
Meanwhile there are 15 candidates for the 13 seats on Hartley Parish Council they are:

  • Larry Abraham*, Chris Alford*, Alan Barnett*, Jane Burns*, Penny Cole, James Gaywood*, David Graeme, Steffan Granger, Malcolm Harris*, Jonathan Minns, Anne Oxtoby*, Brian Ramsay*, Vince Sewell* ("Putting Hartley First") * Sitting member
  • Lyndon Newins (Independent)
  • Peter Mayer (Independent)

5 April 2007
Mind over matter is key

(Dartford Messenger, p13) Interview and picture of Longfield lady who has run 13 London Marathons and raised over half a million pounds for charity.

Walk for summer fitness
(Dartford Messenger, p4) Weekly walks to commence from New Ash Green libraries on Wednesdays at 10.30am.  Duration about an hour.

29 March 2007
In the red: schools help comic relief

(Dartford Messenger, p16) Picture of three of the pupils at Axton Chase school, who helped towards raising £1,100 for red nose day.

26 March 2007
Green energy - not here says Sevenoaks

Sevenoaks Council have refused a wind turbine at Canada Farm Road (application 07/0391 see 15 March below), even though it is about 100m from the nearest property.

25 March 2007
Fly tipping - it's the real thing

(FHC) In spite of claims by Sevenoaks councillors that they are on top of the problem, fly tipping remains a major problem in the country lanes around here.  The attached photo shows a dumped Coke vending machine in School Lane on the Horton Kirby/Fawkham border.

23 March 2007
Value for money from council tax

(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p17) Cllr Carol Clark from New Ash Green writes to defend her voting against a £12,000 grant for her council ward.  She denies that the double taxation affects house prices in New Ash Green, but admits properties are in lower valuation bands than comparable properties elsewhere!  There was also another letter from Cllr Coates of the Conservative ruling group at Sevenoaks.  He said all areas think they are hard done by at Sevenoaks.

22 March 2007
Wellfield and Woodland Avenue

(Dartford Messenger, p15) Local resident of Bramblefield organises petition to get Sevenoaks Council to do snow clearance of bus route.

19 March 2007
Vandalism at Longfield Station

Ticket office closed after vandals smash door, ticket window and ticket machine.

15 March 2007
Water Firm merger set for approval
(Sevenoaks Chronicle) Comptetition Commission looking at plans to merge Mid Kent and South East Water.  Mid Kent serves Hartley area.

Youngsters sing their way to success
(Dartford Messenger, p18) Infant choir (pictured) came first and junior choir second in Gravesham Festival of Music and Speech.  83% of school leavers pass 11 + to attend grammar school.

Winding up turbine energy
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Owner of land at Beeches Farm Cottages, Canada Farm Road, South Darenth has applied for a 12m wind turbine.  Owner says they have already done the other recycling options also.

Council Tax - Dartford
(Dartford Times, p76) Band D council tax in Longfield to be £1,311.09, made up of KCC £964.17, Dartford BC £145.26, Kent Police £122.18, Kent Fire £61.65, Longfield PC £17.83

8 March 2007
Council Tax - Sevenoaks

(Dartford Times, p69) Band D council tax in Hartley to be £1,346.22, made up of KCC £964.17, Sevenoaks DC £160.38, Kent Police £122.18, Kent Fire £61.65, Hartley PC £37.84.  Overall council tax for Hartley will rise by 4.86%.

In Ash the charge is £1,332.19 and Fawkham £1,329.04.

There's no case for tax discount
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p17) Leader of Sevenoaks Council replies to Cllr Pett's letter of 1 March.  Cllr Fleming claims that the double taxation is only 10% of what residents pay to the Village Association.  However the other 12 letters published (including one from Peter Mayer, the webmaster of this site) are broadly in favour of Cllr Pett.  One resident of Lambardes thinks that being on the border of SDC is at the root of the problem too.  He said he pays £1,860 to Sevenoaks, £607.80 to the residents' assocation and £271.80 to the VA, the high costs affect the saleability of their homes.

Garden club pupils get to work
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Picture of New Ash Green primary school pupils working in school garden.

1 March 2007
'Double whammy' villagers furious at SDC defence of tax

(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p3, 17) New Ash Green residents, furious at the comments from Sevenoaks Council, have written 'en masse' to the paper.  A summarised version of Cllr Pett's leter and 2 letters in support are published with the promise of more next week.

Decision to leak post office list is defended by Tory
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p5) Dartford Conservative candidate and Hartley resident, Gareth Johnson, criticised by Post Office chiefs and some postmasters for "speculation" by leaking list that claimed all local post offices might close.

Kent will suffer from Post Office closures
(Dartford Times, p8) Longfield resident asks are the remaining post offices after the cuts to be fully staffed?  And how do they expect the elderly used to going round the corner to the Longfield office to get to Dartford instead?

Father convicted of assault spared jail
(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p7) New Ash Green father given suspended sentence for violence against his daughter outside Sevenoaks Leisure Centre.  Spared jail after daughter pleaded with court.

Sweet appeal: Panto raise cash for children's unit
(Dartford Messenger, p15) Picture of performers from Aladdin panto at Hartley Social Club, who raised £3,400 for hospital's Lollipop appeal.

Watch out for doorstep con-men
(Dartford Messenger, p2) Police warn of 15 burglary artifice cases locally, including one in Grange Way "Longfield" on 9 January.

Property Market
(Dartford Times, Property p12) Hothfield House, Ash Road on market with Bairstow Eves for £479,995.  Also 5 bed detached house in Manor Drive for £550,000.

28 February 2007
Hosepipe ban lifted

(Mid Kent Water press release) Thanks to a rise in the water table, the hosepipe ban has been lifted after the worst drought since 1933.

22 February 2007
Council costs spark village row

(Sevenoaks Chronicle, p9) Report on Councillor Pett's letter about council tax in New Ash Green.  Leader of Sevenoaks Council, Cllr Peter Fleming, claimed they were overcharged by the Village Association and most of the costs relate to Kent County Council services.

Closure threat to 12 post offices
(Dartford Times, p4) Kent County Council claims Longfield, Longfield Hill, Hartley, New Ash Green and Fawkham Post Offices could all close.  Postmasters in Hartley and New Ash Green say they have not heard anything, but closure would be a big loss to the community.

20 February 2007
Hartley Grows, but slowly
(FHC) The latest estimates of population, published by Kent County Council, show that the population of the Hartley and Hodsoll Street ward has risen from 5,871 in 2001 to 6,000 in 2005.  Longfield, New Barn and Southfleet now have 6,500 inhabitants, and Ash 6,300.

14 February 2007
Double Taxation in New Ash Green

(Open letter by Cllr Alan Pett to Sevenoaks Council) He says that New Ash Green residents are being taxed twice, once through council tax and again through the service charges in New Ash Green, that elsewhere would be covered by council tax.  He says SDC have dismissed his approaches and "villagers' views disregarded".  He contrasts the lack of money spent in New Ash Green with the £1.27 million spent on the Sevenoaks Playhouse over 5 years.

Click here to see copy of letter and replies on the NAG Active website.

8 February 2007
Picture that

(Daily Mail, p62) Picture of Hartley window cleaners 1st class cleaning.  Their website explains that they only need ladders for cleaning flat roofs.  For more details about the firm, based in Porchester Close, see their website.

Huge turnout for funeral of popular parish priest
(Dartford Times, p7) Funeral of Father Hugh Bridge, a spokesman for the Southwark RC archdiocese said "His faith and zeal for those who are marginalised in society won him great respect and he will be sadly missed both in the parishes he served and further afield."

(additional reporting) The readings at the funeral service were Wisdom 3:1-6 and 9; 1 John 3:1-2; and Matthew 5:1-12 (the Beatitudes).  Hymns included "The Lord's my Shepherd" and "Praise my soul the King of Heaven".  The coffin was to be taken on foot from St Francis de Sales church to All Saints' Churchyard.

See 22 January for more details.

Explosive party for Emma
(Dartford Times, p7) Picture and article about the 106th birthday party for Emma Hodgkin of Fairby Grange Residential Home, Ash Road.  She was born in Darenth and worked at a gunpowder factory at Bean during the war.  She received cards from the Queen and Prime Minister.

1 February 2007
Help with churchyard costs
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Dartford Council to pay £500 annually, for the maintenance of the closed churchyard at St Mary Magdalene Church, Longfield.

Speed spotting
(Dartford Messenger, p7) Mobile speed cameras to be in Ash Road and Hartley Road on Friday

Hospice benefits
(Dartford Messenger, p9) Darent Valley Lions Father Christmas fundraisers raised £1,200 from Hartley, New Ash Green and South Darenth

Mind games
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Picture feature of science week at New Ash Green Primary School

27 January 2007
Flights of fancy

(Kent County Magazine no 134, p29) Feature, including picture, on Xtreme Falconry of Northfield, Hartley.

25 January 2007
Fire ruins room

(Dartford Messenger, p5) Computer fire destroys room in house at Hartley Hill on 18th.  Dartford Fire Brigade attend.

Recipe for success
(Dartford Messenger, p22) Fawkham CE (pictured) and New Ash Green primary schools win "Healthy Schools" status.

Weather news
(Dartford Times, p7) Milestone School closed for the day because of the snow.

22 January 2007
Father Hugh Bridge RIP

It is with sadness we report the death at Darent Valley Hospital of Father Hugh Bridge, the Roman Catholic priest of Hartley RC parish (which includes Longfield and New Ash Green) since 1996, at the age of 58.

He was born in Orpington in 1948, and attended Chislehurst Grammar School and Oriel College, Oxford, where he studied Chemistry.  In his youth he attended the Anglican Church at Bickley, but became a Catholic at Oxford.

In 1973 he was accepted for the priesthood and for the next 4 years combined study with a job at the bakery in Orpington.  He was ordained priest in 1977 and was appointed curate of Vauxhall (1977-1986), and then Tunbridge Wells (1986-).

Father Bridge was interested in politics, joining the Labour party in his teens.  At the last council election he sent a questionnaire to all candidates, and published their replies so people might better know their views on the issues.  He was also heavily involved in planning issues, and worked with Dame Shirley Porter to successfully oppose "The Green Giant" tower, which was proposed for Vauxhall.

He was well respected in the whole community, and often stood up for things he believed to be right, even when that was the minority view - not an easy thing to do.  He worked hard for the successful local church covenant, which was praised only this week in Church Times, as a model for others to follow.

Follow this link for his autobiography.

18 January 2007
Goods Vehicle Application

(Dartford Messenger, p45) Application to use Manor Farm, Longfield Hill as an operating centre for 3 goods vehicles.

Winds wreak havoc across Kent
(Dartford Messenger, p11) Fire crews from Dartford called when tree fell onto power cables in Ash Road (at the junction with Old Downs) on 11 January at 1.45pm.

(FHC) Storm force winds returned on Thursday 18th to cause damage locally.  Four trees were blown down in Stack Lane and evidence of wind damage can be seen from the photos of damaged cables at Hodsoll Street, and fallen trees at Hartley Bottom Road, Ridley.

Champ's Olympic dream
(Dartford Times, p15) Picture feature on 14 year old from Longfield chosen to part of England fencing's "Tomorrow's Achievers" team in Paris competition.

Lotto luck for town's families (Dartford Times, p12
That's DA way to win
(Dartford Messenger, p3)
(additional reporting, FHC)
The DA postcode area was the 4th luckiest in the country for the National Lottery in 2006, up from 10th in 2005.  In 12 years since lottery started almost £100 million has been won in major prizes in the DA postcode area.

One big winner locally was a 4 member syndicate from New Ash Green, who won £10.8 million in 1997.

Kitchen fire
(Dartford Messenger, p3) Small kitchen fire at Bazes Shaw, New Ash Green.

Fun for charity
(Dartford Messenger, p17) Picture of pupils involved in Axton Chase school's RAG week, which raised £250 for NSPCC.

Witness appeal
(Dartford Times, p7) Police appeal for witnesses to New Year's Day fight in New Ash Green to come forward.

Charity Award
(Dartford Times, p8) Letter writer congratulates Gurdial Singh Rai from Longfield for his MBE, and for the charity work he undertakes.  "I am pleased with the award he has deservedly received".  (See also Times of India article)

11 January 2007
Honoured: Delighted Sikh volunteer

(Dartford Messenger, p18) Gurdial Singh Rai (pictured) of Longfield wins MBE, for charity work.

4 January 2007
How many more will die?

(Dartford Times, p1) Following national news about the dog attack in Liverpool, interview and picture of mother in Porchester Close, whose son was attacked by a savage dog last August.

Three are stabbed in New Year's Day brawl (Dartford Messenger, p4)
Village Fight: teenager in court (Dartford Times, p5)
Up to 30 people from New Ash Green and South Darenth involved in fight (see
1 Jan below).  Six arrests and one still held in custody.  19 year old from Farm Holt to appear in Sevenoaks Magistrates Court charge with possession of cannabis, affray, ABH and wounding with intent. (DM has picture of where fight took place).

Director will never forget fire horror
(Dartford Messenger, p12) Interview with director of clinical services at Fawkham Manor Hospital, as mayor of Dartford opens newly-refurbished ward.

Compassion: Walkers raise money for African youngsters
(Dartford Messenger, p19) Picture of members of St Mary Magdalene Church, Longfield congregation who raised money for 2 new classrooms at a schoolin Zambia.

1 January 2007
Knife fight leaves three injured
(BBC Website) Police called to fight in The Row, New Ash Green on early New Year's Day.  Three hospitalised and one 19 year old man arrested.  Shopping centre cordoned off and shops closed.