Invitation to NHS workshop on hospital changes in east Kent

The NHS and social care partners in east Kent are working together to design better and more sustainable services for local people, both in and out of hospital. We are committed to improving services so you get the best, most effective hospital care when you need it – and more care, treatment and support out of hospital when you don’t.


We need your help

As part of this work, we have developed two potential options for future hospital services, which have been shaped by feedback from local people and NHS staff. We now need your help to scrutinise how we will evaluate these options before the local NHS decides which option/options will form part of an upcoming public consultation.


On Thursday 18 July 2019 we are bringing clinicians and local people together to discuss
some of the evidence used to make this decision. The workshop will be in Canterbury
from 9.30am-4pm. There will be lunch and refreshments provided, and travel expenses can be reclaimed.


We are looking for 40 members of the public from across east Kent who represent our diverse population. We are looking for a mix of views and experience including:


  • Patients and carers who are young people, parents, working aged adults, or retired
  • People with experience of using A&E for physical or mental health problems
  • People with experience of inpatient treatment at Kent & Canterbury, QEQM, and William Harvey hospitals
  • People with long-term conditions that have led to regular hospital visits, or their carers
  • Parents with experience of maternity or hospital services for children in east Kent.

You don’t need to have previous involvement or knowledge of the hospital proposals. But we are looking for people who are willing to:


  • read (or listen to) a little bit of background information before the event
  • spend a day discussing how the options will be assessed and considering some of the emerging evidence.

Join us or pass it on

You can register your interest in this event by completing the form here or online at If you know other people or networks of people who may be interested, please pass on this invitation. We will need expressions of interest by Monday 24 June. Places will be confirmed on Wednesday 26 June.


More information

You can read information about the detailed work carried out so far and how feedback from the public and clinicians has shaped the proposals at

Holiday Scam Warning!

More than 5,000 people were victims of holiday booking fraud last year, their total losses amounting to seven million pounds. Airline and online accommodation were the main targets (see ABTA report)

How it works

  • A Kent family booked a villa in Mallorca with a company that also arranged transfers.
  • Alarm bells rang when no transfer driver was waiting for them at Palma airport.
  • They eventually took a taxi to “their” villa to find out that the property owner did not rent out his home and had no knowledge of their “booking”.
  • The family eventually found another villa to rent but were now £8000 out of pocket.
  • The family’s bank is trying to retrieve the money from the fraudster’s Spanish bank based in Madrid but there is no guarantee of success.

To help protect yourself:

  • Check customer reviews – review and research thoroughly.
  • Look out for companies that are members of professional bodies such as ABTA.
  • Be wary of paying a private individual by bank transfer.
  • Paying by credit card will offer you much more protection from fraud.
  • Trust your instincts, don’t get rushed into making impulsive decisions.

Visit Get Safe Online for more holiday advice

Report it

Kent County Council is currently running a campaign in the Folkestone area in the Tesco Bags for Life to help protect vulnerable people from telephone scammers by installing a TrueCall phone blocker at their home. Please support our project if you can.

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Telephone Scammers Alert

We have received reports of telephone scammers once again targeting people in Kent with the threat of a lawsuit and arrest warrant if the resident did not pay the scammers.

Don’t worry, this is a scam
Phone scams are a common way for criminals to con people out of money using various tricks to get your personal or financial information.

What to do:

  • Hang up and don’t return their calls.
  • NEVER disclose any personal information such as bank details or date of birth, no matter who the person claims to be.

If you have already given money to scammers, contact Kent Police by calling 101 and you can also report it to Action Fraud. The information you give to Action Fraud can help track down the scammer.

Report it

Eastry Parish Council Vacancies


Following the recent Parish Council elections there remains three vacant seats on Eastry Parish Council.

  • Do you want to serve your Community? 
  • Do you have time or expertise which could benefit your Community?
  • Do you want to make a difference to all those around you?
  • Are you concerned about your local area?
  • Do you want to represent the views of local people?

 If you would like to make a difference, and be involved in shaping the future of your local Community, why not step forward and apply to become an Eastry Parish Councillor?

Eastry Parish Council meet 11 times a year, normally on the first Monday of the Month (accept in May, when it’s the 2nd Monday).  If you are interested please email the Clerk to the Parish Council on for an application form and eligibility form. Or you can download these from the Parish Council website:

Rail – Engineering Works This Bank Holiday Weekend

Vital infrastructure upgrades will take place on the Southeastern network this Bank Holiday, which will improve the reliability of the railway for passengers in London and Kent.

Check before you travel

As a result there will be a number of sections of the railway closed to allow engineers carry out essential upgrade work.

Make sure you check before you travel, as train services in a number of areas will be subject to change or will be replaced by a bus service.

Summary of key changes this Bank Holiday weekend

Saturday 4 May

  • Amended service in the Grove Park area

Sunday 5 May

Buses replace trains between:

  • Lewisham and Dartford via Greenwich and Woolwich Arsenal
  • Sole St / Strood & Rainham
  • Sevenoaks and Paddock Wood / Tunbridge Wells

Monday 6 May

Buses replace trains between:

  • Lewisham and Sidcup / Orpington

For further details on the engineering works taking place this weekend please visit our dedicated webpage.

Network Rail investing millions to upgrade infrastructure

Network Rail is investing millions into infrastructure upgrades on the Southeastern network, replacing components and carrying out essential maintenance to make the railway more reliable. The work includes:

  • £81m project to resignal the lines from Hither Green to Mottingham, Grove Park and Bromley North progresses.
  • £55m project to upgrade signalling from Deptford to Woolwich Arsenal and from Lewisham to New Eltham.
  • Maintenance of the line including changing sleepers and rail grinding.
  • State-of-the-art high output ballast cleaner works to improve track quality.
  • Work to improve signalling resilience, to improve reliability of signals.

Bank Hol engineering works-2 Download Here.


Roofing Doorstep Criminals Targeting Kent Residents

Please be aware! We have received several reports from elderly residents across Kent reporting doorstep criminals cold calling for roofing work.

What happened:

  • The criminals are pressuring residents into having work done on their roof by claiming urgent repairs need to be carried out.
  • The work is often not needed at all.
  • In one case the resident was quoted £14,000 for the work which was reduced to £5000 when the resident said they couldn’t pay the higher amount.

The resident was told to pay the £5000 in cash and the criminals drove the resident to the bank to withdraw money.

What to do: 
Reputable traders and contractors do not cold-call for business and they will NEVER ask you to go to the bank or cash point.

  • ALWAYS refuse on the spot repairs.
  • Don’t allow anyone to pressure you into having work done. If you ask them to leave and they don’t, contact the police on 999.
  • Use reputable traders who are members of the KCC Trading Standards approved trader scheme, run in partnership with Checkatrade
  • Ask for quotes in writing and check that the tradesperson is from the company they claim to be from.

Warn vulnerable family members, friends and neighbours.

If you feel afraid or threatened by a doorstep caller, phone 999. 

Please report any suspicious doorstep callers to us.

Report it

Minutes of Meetings

The minutes of the Eastry Parish Council Ordinary Meeting for March have now been published on the EPC website, together with the minutes of the Eastry Annual Parish Meeting.

The minutes can be viewed and/or downloaded from the website here:


Storm Gareth

You may have also seen the ongoing forecast of high winds and rain (Storm Gareth) expected to arrive tomorrow (Wednesday 13th March), affecting parts of the South East and the East of England.

Our electricity network is built to be resilient but high winds and rain can damage overhead power lines resulting in some customers losing their electricity supply. Where this happens, we work to restore power as quickly and safely as possible.  We have organised for additional staff in our contact centre to help customers whose electricity supply might be affected by the predicted weather, and we have called-up additional engineers to carry out repairs to our electricity network.

Both you and your local residents will be able to find regular updates on our website and social media @UKPowerNetworks throughout this period.

Anyone experiencing a power cut can:

  • Call 105 to report power cuts and damage to the electricity network, or 0800 3163 105 (from a corded phone or mobile phone if you have no power)
  • Visit for the latest updates
  • Visit and type in their postcode to view our live power cut map
  • Tweet @ukpowernetworks to report power cuts or to receive updates

We urge the public to stay well clear from power lines and anyone spotting a damaged power line needs to report it to us immediately by calling 105 from a landline or mobile phone.

If they see electricity lines that are down or causing significant risk to the public they should call 999.

We provide extra help to customers on our Priority Service Register during a power cut. Households with older or disabled people, those with children under five, or where someone uses medical or mobility equipment that requires electricity as well as other reasons can join the register. You can find out more information about our Priority Service on our website:  .

If you would like to share information about preparing for the extreme weather or the priority service register on social media you might like to use the following:

UK Power Networks has extra staff on hand to deal with the impact of Storm Gareth. Call 105 to report a power cut and visit or message @UKPowerNetworks on Twitter. #stormgareth #ukpnnews

Do you, or someone you know, need extra support during a power cut? @UKPowerNetworks provides free services to vulnerable customers. Visit for more information.  #stormgareth #ukpnnews

I hope this information is helpful and please do share it with local residents and members of your community who would find it helpful.

With best wishes,

Julie Seal

Community Affairs Officer

UK Power Networks

Fore Hamlet





Tenancy Deposit Scam Alert

Action Fraud has received several reports where fraudsters are claiming to be landlords of properties offered for rent online.

How it works

  • Prior to viewing a property, the criminal requests that the individual pays a deposit.
  • After the victim pays the money, the scammer sends a bogus email purporting to be from a Tenancy Deposit Scheme confirming they have received their deposit.
  • This email is false! The money was sent directly to the criminals’ account.
  • The victim is left out of pocket and without the home they thought they were renting.

What You Need To Do

  • Always make sure you have viewed the property with an agent or landlord before agreeing to rent a property.
  • Don’t be rushed or pressured into making a decision.
  • Only transfer funds when you’re satisfied a genuine property, safety certificates and valid contract are in place.
  • Only pay for goods or service by bank transfer if you know and trust the person. Payments via bank transfer offer you no protection if you become a victim of fraud.

Before you pay a deposit check it is one of the government-backed Tenancy Deposit Schemes

Report it

For advice and to report issues to KCC Trading Standards contact
Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06
Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm.

Lonely Hearts Romance Fraudster Alert

Lonely Hearts Romance Fraudster Alert

The NFIB have become aware of techniques used by romance fraudsters against people using dating sites. Not only will they steal your heart they will steal your money and your identification.

When you think you’ve met the perfect partner through an online dating website or app, but the other person is using a fake profile to form a relationship with you. They’re using the site to gain your trust and ask you for money or enough personal information to steal your identity.

A dating fraudster, previously involved in deceiving people that wanted a friendship explained how they would create fake accounts with social media platforms so that their details matched and could be searched. By appearing to be a real person their fake persona could be corroborated by prospective partners searching their background and believe them to be genuine. The fraudster said:

“People like to live in fairy tales to say it won’t happen to me. I make sure all my conversations are bespoke. I will show insecurity myself about trusting people and this helps allude to them that I’m genuine.”

The fraudster will also utilise as many accessible online research tools to explore people’s information for their own personal gain or sell onwards. The fraudster elaborated and explained:

“I use various online directories to find out about the person. Once I have enough, I use it to milk everything I can using their details or sell them on to other fraudsters via the dark web”

When asked how people could check if a person is real. The romance fraudster offered advice for others searching for a relationship. They told us that after you see a picture of them:

“Ask for them to send you another photo of themselves posing with their thumbs up or waving. It’s like a form of 2 factor authentication and makes it hard to do if it’s not an original picture”

What you need to do

· Avoid sharing too many personal details when on online dating profiles. Revealing your full name, date of birth, or full home address may lead to your identity being stolen.

· Never respond to any requests to send money, or have money transferred into your account by someone you don’t know and trust. These types of requests should always raise a red flag. If something feels wrong then it is usually right to question it.

· Pick a reputable dating website or app, and use the built-in messaging service. Fraudsters want to quickly switch to social media or texting so there’s no evidence of them asking you for money.

Message Sent By
Action Fraud (Action Fraud, Administrator, National)

Firearms Campaign Success

Residents handed in more than 170 firearms and nearly 4,000 rounds of ammunition during Kent police’s firearms surrender.

The initiative which ran between Monday 21 January and Wednesday 6 February 2019 saw a total of 172 firearms and 3,857 rounds of ammunition being handed over to officers.

The campaign allowed people to dispose of unwanted or illegally held firearms or ammunition.

Originally the initiative was due to finish on Friday 1 February 2019 but owing to the success and response by the public officers made the decision to extend the surrender until Wednesday 6 February 2019.

Officers received various firearms as part of the initiative including pistols, revolvers, shotguns, rifles and air weapons.

Some of the most interesting items included a deactivated Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle which was handed in to officers on 24 January along with magazine and dummy rounds. Three Italian starting pistols and a Walther PPK blank firing replica pistol with some blank rounds were also surrendered.

On the first day of the campaign a Colt ‘New Service’ .445 calibre revolver was surrendered. This firearm was made in 1898 and had been used by British and Commonwealth forces until the end of the Second World War.

On 22 January, 12 firearms were handed in at North Kent station and of these three handguns, all revolvers; a Hopkins and Allen, a Webley Second World War service revolver and a Colt revolver, were viable live firing guns.

The Webley .380 calibre service revolver is believed to have been used in the First World War but may have been used in the Second World War.

Detective Chief Inspector Patrick Holmes said: ‘We had an excellent response to this year’s surrender. Many firearms are held innocently with owners unaware of their illegality, or are overlooked heirlooms forgotten in people’s homes.

‘The initiative gave residents the chance to hand in unwanted firearms ensuring that they were safely removed off the streets and preventing them from being acquired and distributed by criminal networks.

‘Every firearm off the streets is another weapon which has been prevented from being potentially used in criminal activity and potentially another life which has been saved, so I would like to thank all those residents who used the surrender as an opportunity to hand in their unwanted or illegally held firearms and ammunition.’

PSE 59727 Andrew Judd 

Volunteer & Neighbourhood Watch Liaison Officer

South East Kent Police

Parish Council Elections – Prospective Candidate Event, 4 March 2019

Are you up for a challenge? How well do you know your community? Could you represent local people? What can you bring to local democracy? The next Parish Council elections will be held on Thursday 2 May 2019 and now is the time to discover whether you’ve got what it takes to be a local councillor. You don’t need to be a member of any political party – but you do need a genuine interest in what happens in your local area.

Councillors come from all walks of life, age groups and backgrounds, so don’t rule yourself out just because you think you don’t fit the councillor ‘mould’.

To become a candidate you must be:
1) a British, qualifying Commonwealth or European Union Citizen

2) at least 18 years of age.

In addition to those two qualifications, you must also:

a) have an entry on the electoral register in the Parish or Parish Ward in which you are standing as candidate, and/or

b) have lived, worked or owned property in the Parish Council area or within 4.8 km of the Parish for the whole of the previous 12 months.

An event for prospective candidates will be held in the Council Chamber at the Council Offices in Whitfield on Monday 4 March 2019 at 6pm. It will cover how to complete the required paperwork for standing as a candidate at both District and Parish Council elections and nomination packs will be available for collection at the end of the presentation.

To reserve a place at the event please email the Elections Team on or call 01304 – 872344. Please note that space is limited due to the size of the venue so booking is advised.
For any queries regarding electoral matters or to receive a nomination pack by post please contact the Elections Team using the details above.
Further information on standing as a candidate can be found on the Electoral Commission website –
For more details on your local Parish Council, please contact the Parish Clerk by email or by calling 01304 614320

Kent Teenagers Launch Podcast for ‘Time To Talk’ Day

Teenagers in Gravesend are launching a new podcast this week for ‘Time To Talk’ Day – the national campaign encouraging conversation around mental health.

Called ‘Thrive’, the podcast will be available to listen to online from the morning of Thursday 7 February and hopes to show others that they are not alone and that support is on hand with conversations that are energetic, insightful, poignant and funny.

Four young people, aged 15 to 19-years-old, host and feature in the show, talking about everything from what it is to be a young person in 2019, including the daily pressures they face, school and careers, social media, bullying, friendships and stress. The podcast aims to break down barriers and discuss subjects they might never talk about openly.

Mason aged 16, Princess aged 18 and 15-year-olds Emma and Jamal, who are all from Gravesham, have now recorded three episodes of the show together, with the aim to release one a month. Mason said: “We regularly discuss a range of different issues that affect young people when we meet at The Grand, so it seemed a natural fit to put it online as a podcast. We cover some difficult topics but we laugh a lot too. We want to normalise those awkward and embarrassing conversations which many of us may feel shy to approach, and hopefully help to break down the stigma surrounding these issues.”

The Grand Healthy Living Centre in Gravesend has assisted the young podcasters to produce the show, working with locally based media professionals who will teach the group the technical skills needed to record and edit the discussions. The long-term goal is that the group will run every element of the production.

Youth workers at The Grand have conversations with young people every day about the challenges they are facing. The new podcast allows every young person in the borough to hear from their friends and their peers, to get advice, hear opinions and know that support is on hand from the youth team in the borough.

Jackie Coupar, Youth Work Manager at The Grand, said: “We want to reach any young person who feels isolated, is struggling with life or just wants to hear the views of their friends and peers. It deals with the real things kids are facing these days. It’s frank, it’s funny, it’s refreshing and importantly, it lets our young people know that there are services available locally to help them.

“We work face-to-face with hundreds of young people, but we know there are thousands more in Gravesham who don’t access the advice on offer. Having a podcast means that anyone can listen at any time of day – in the privacy of their own home or on the bus to school.”

The Grand’s youth service, called Gifted Young Generation, offers young people a peer-to-peer support group, a professional counselling service as well as a wide range of creative workshops, which see young people grow in confidence, learn new skills and make new friends. Thrive podcast is available to listen to online at:

KCC Deputy Director for Public health, Allison Duggal said: “We know that talking and sharing feelings and thoughts help. It can also be the first step to accessing professional support if it is needed. At the same time, we know that talking and sharing is hard so we have provided lots of useful information, videos, access to training and information on services on the Kent Resilience Hub at

“These resources help young people, parents, carers and workers start that conversation by recognising all the strengths in a young person’s life which are contributing to their resilience, their wellbeing and are helping them to cope and thrive even when things are tough.”

KCC commissions community mental health support services for adults through Live Well Kent which is run by charities Porchlight and Shaw Trust. More information can be found at

It is also reminding residents of its ‘Release the Pressure’ helpline this Time to Talk day – call free on 0800 107 0160 where support is available from trained and experienced staff 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The campaign website also includes case studies from people in Kent who have turned their lives around after attempting suicide.