Tim Prater

Could You Help Sandgate as a Volunteer Flood Warden?

Could You Help Sandgate as a Volunteer Flood Warden?

Flood Wardens are volunteers trained to help and prepare people in local communities that are at risk of flooding. They play an important role in the preparing a community flood plan and putting it in to practice. In Sandgate we would also ask you to meet the Parish Council annually to update us on the flood plan.

The commitment

  • Training takes just 2 hours to complete (training is currently online, with the next FREE courses on 6th October and 9th November from 7-9pm).
  • Flood Wardens meet a few times a year to test their flood plan.

The Role

  • Help local people prepare for flooding.
  • Provide a vital link between your community and the emergency responders.

What you’ll get

  • Comprehensive handbook.
  • Access to a whole host of resources.
  • Support from fellow Flood Wardens.

It’s been a while since we’ve had a substantial flood in Sandgate, but that’s no reason not to be prepared.

You would be making a real difference to your community, helping the ensure the safety of neighbours, for a few hours a year. From https://www.kentprepared.org.uk/flood-wardens the responsibilities of being a Flood Warden include:

Helping the community before, during and after a flood


  • Identify problem areas within your community;
  • Identify vulnerable people and properties;
  • Write a community flood plan;
  • Monitor watercourses within the community;
  • Encourage sign up to free Flood Warnings.


  • Communicate the risk of flooding within the community;
  • Help co-ordinate the community flood plan;
  • Heed emergency services advice at all times;
  • Share information from the Environment Agency and emergency services with residents;
  • Encourage residents to take action;
  • Collect flood event information.


  • Assist in the post-flood clear up if required;
  • Continue to act as a communication channel;
  • Collect post-flood data and photos;
  • Assist in the review of the community flood plan.

If you are interested in becoming a Flood Warden, please contact the Kent Resilience Team to organise a training session at krf@kent.fire-uk.org  or call 01622 212409.

To register for this training visit www.trybooking.com click buy tickets and search for ‘Kent Flood Warden Training’.


Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Community Garden: Update 19 September 2021

We have been experiencing issues with watering this week.  It has been very warm and dry again, with some promises of rain dissolving into nothing.  So hand watering it is, of the many newly planted beds of spinach, spring onions, mustard greens and herbs.  The autumn raspberries are managing to produce fruit, but they are small, and the leaves are starting to turn yellow. 

Our lettuce mix now has a good percentage of endive and chicory.  We have two types of endive, a broad leaf and a frilly strapped leaf. they are super nutritious and pictured below.  Both have a slightly bitter taste, and can survive very cold temperatures in the winter.  Bitter foods are considered to be very good for our gut health, with evidence that they may work like prebiotics. 

We had our results from the RHS.  We have made progress from our last inspection to level 4 or ‘Thriving’, with five levels possible in total, the last being ‘outstanding’.  The inspector said that it was ‘difficult to offer any words of advice’ apart from addressing our reliance on mains water.  We have all tried to solve that problem from the very start, to no avail as yet.  The only other point was that the garden was difficult to find within the park, however there are new signs made and  installed at all the park entrances, and it is clear now where we can be found.  In effect we are doing alright, and if they cannot offer much in the way of advice to improve our situation then we should be happy with that!

The hops got picked this week.  All the hops at Fremantle and Enbrook had to be picked on the same day, and taken to the Hythe collection point for weighing and putting into hessian sacks for transportation  to a brewery to make a fresh hop (green) brew, with the rest going to an oast house to be dried for use throughout the year.  We were not expecting too much from the four Enbrook plants as they had suffered this year, but they gave 650g compared with last year’s 2.120kg.  Fremantle has three hop plants, and one of those got invaded by ants and only just survived, leaving  two plants which gave an amazing 865g.  In total across the scheme, there were 83kg of hops collected, with another collection date for less mature hops arranged for 19th September. 30kg of fresh hops has gone to Docker and Hopfuzz breweries, and the remaining 23 kg went off to be dried and will then be sent to Docker for further brews in the year.  The green hop ales will be available in 4-6 weeks at selected local pubs as well as in bottles or cans.  We will let you know where you can try it when we know, but you have to be quick to visit the pub, as it can sell out within a day!

What’s next?

  • Get in a cheeky sowing of some winter lettuces if possible
  • Plant some saffron crocuses
  • Water water water
  • Anybody around strong enough to help move the cold frames?

Posted by Tim Prater in Sandgate Community Garden
VACANCY – Deputy Parish Clerk / RFO

VACANCY – Deputy Parish Clerk / RFO

A vacancy has arisen for the post of Deputy Clerk / Responsible Finance Officer (RFO) at Sandgate Parish Council.

The Deputy Clerk will be providing support to the Parish Clerk and Librarian and is one of the main points of contact for Sandgate residents.

The position is for 10 hours per week, plus evening meetings, and the salary: is £12.75 per hour with a voluntary pension scheme.

The successful candidate will be entitled to 21 days holiday plus bank holidays.

Duties include:

  • Attending Parish Council meetings;
  • Preparation of Agendas and Minutes;
  • All Financial matters including proparation fo financial statements for the Annual Audit;
  • Maintaining the Parish Council website;
  • Managing and interrogating the Parish CCTV;
  • Assisting the Parish Clerk/Librarian in running the parish library.

The ideal candidate will be a good communicator, with the ability to work on their own initiative or as part of the team.

If you are interested in this opportunity and wish to know more, please see the full job description below.

CVs to be sent to arrive not later than 12.00 noon on 24th September 2021. Please send them to clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk or by post to: The Parish Clerk, Sandgate Parish Council, James Morris Court, Sandgate High Street, Sandgate, Folkestone CT20 3RR

References and Enhanced DBS will be required.

Closing date Interview Date 5th October 2021.

Job Description of Sandgate PC Deputy Clerk / RFO.


Posted by Tim Prater in News
Parish Council Agenda 21-09-2021

Parish Council Agenda 21-09-2021

This meeting (as per the agenda) will be held in the Library with a 6:30pm start. If any member of the public wishes to attend, please can they notify clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk is advance as we have significant social distancing “challenges” until the next rule change in mid June.

Sandgate Parish Council will broadcast this meeting as a video on Facebook live at the time of the meeting itself on our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pg/sandgatepc/ Comments made on the Facebook video during the meeting will not be monitored and are not a way of feeding back to the Council.

Members of the public can ask a question at a Full Council meeting. Any questions (deemed to be reasonable) sent to clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk will be read and answered at the meeting. If a member of the public would prefer to ask their question themselves, they can do so by emailing clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk at least 2 working days before the meeting asking to put a question to Full Council. Members of the public joining a Council meeting to make a representation online will be asked to follow the protocol at https://sandgatepc.org.uk/public-speaking-at-online-meetings-of-sandgate-parish-council-protocol/


Posted by Tim Prater in Agenda, Council

Sandgate Community Garden: Update 12 September 2021

It is with great excitement that the hops are going to be picked this Sunday both at Enbrook Park and Fremantle Park.  Last year the harvest was a little earlier and we picked just 2.12 kg although this year we have three extra plants at Fremantle too!  The suspicion is that although the hops are older, they have suffered this year, so we shall see. 

We knew it would only be a matter of time until blight arrived at the last place to show signs of it – Enbrook Park.  Two plants were infected so far and have been removed and composted.  It is fine to compost plants with blight as the disease is airborne and not spread through the soil. 

The last of the small seeds for this year have been sown.  We still have more spring onions to plant, and bulb onions to put in for next year.  The last additions to the plot will be garlic and broad beans to overwinter. It will be strange not to be looking after any seedlings now until mid February 2022 when we start all over again!   A further 120 plugs of spinach got planted this week, as did 120 plugs of spring onions, some more winter radishes and more parsley.  The coriander sown just a few weeks ago decided to go to seed already, an example of how things  just decide to do their own thing no matter how much you try!

We removed a bed of squashes which had struggled all the way through the summer – sometimes you just have to give up and try again, and so the bed is being prepared for bulb onions instead.  Frustratingly, a random leftover squash plant was planted in a part of the garden near the fruit trees and just left to get on with it.  The plant took up the challenge and with total neglect from us has rambled all over the place and produced some large squashes as pictured below – typical!  You win some and you lose some, we think that we need to get the soil right in various parts of the garden so that most things will have a fair or more equal chance.

You may recall that we had started our first experiment using a natural soil bourne bacteria to spray on the brassicas to deter the caterpillars from stripping them bare which happens every year no matter how much you think you have protected them.  Pleased to report it has actually worked and we have brassicas standing to attention and looking fabulous already so that they can get even bigger and better over autumn and into winter.  However the brassicas at Fremantle did not get the spray and have been chewed to bits.  There is now a move to rescue what is left, but we are pleased to know that it really does work;  if there was only such a deterrent for pigeons!

This coming week we should finally find out how we fared from our visit with an RHS community gardens inspector.  It has been some time since the visit, and there is no pass or fail, it just tells you how you are doing and if there are any recommendations which could be implemented.  Always room for improvement, it will be interesting to know what they thought.

What’s next?

  • Finish the preparation of the bed with new compost for the bulb onions
  • Weed the gooseberry patch
  • Keep watering the new seedlings
  • Pot up any spare herbs and plants Try moving the cold frames into winter places
Posted by Tim Prater in Sandgate Community Garden

Stop Loan Sharks

Stop Loan Sharks

Have you or anyone you know:

  • Been offered a cash loan without paperwork?
  • Been threatened when you couldn’t pay?
  • Had your benefit or bank card taken from you?
  • Had a loan which keeps growing even though you are making payments?

If you can answer yes to the above you may have been bitten by a Loan Shark.

For confidential help and advice contact the Illegal Money Lending Team: 0300 555 2222 (local call rate, including inclusive minutes from mobiles)

Email: reportaloanshark@stoploansharks.gov.uk

Text: 07860022116

Web: www.stoploansharks.co.uk

These resources are available in Slovak & Czech, Bulgarian, Polish, Urdu, Russian, Lithuanian, Portugese and Albanian below.








Posted by Tim Prater in News
KCC FREE Covid-19 control advice and training for Businesses, Charities and Not-for-Profit

KCC FREE Covid-19 control advice and training for Businesses, Charities and Not-for-Profit

Now and during the coming months, it is important that COVID-19 and infection control continues to remain a priority. 

Kent County Council has recently commissioned a free COVID-19/infection safe training and advice service for sole traders with a Unique Tax Reference, small and microbusinesses registered via companies house, charitable organisations registered via the charity commission, and not for profit organisations that operate in the KCC Local Authority area.  

The free training sessions will last 3 hours, are being held on Zoom on 8, 14 and 18 September, and will aim to assist eligible organisations to: 

  • Ensure a safe place of work. 
  • Ensure clean and safe equipment.
  • Provide clear information, training and instruction, and supervision on how to manage infection control including COVID-19. 
  • Complete robust infection control risk assessments.

For more information and to book a free place, please visit https://sektraining.org.uk/training-courses/kcc-covid-19-safe-training

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Community Garden: Update 5 September 2021

What a fabulous time we had at the Sea Festival last Sunday.  Nobody could have wished for better weather considering what it had been like previously.  Tucked up against the wall on the seafront outside the castle, we managed to stay out of any wind amd it was just perfect.  We managed to raise a massive £308.29 from the stall with the help of many of the volunteers plus a £20 donation from favourite auntie M.  A special mention to Ali and Tania pictured below as they raised over £30 by baking some most delicious muffins for the occasion.  Many thanks for all the love and support we experienced from everyone there. 

Well now we are in September, and it might have felt as if it has always been raining in August, but the rain gauage said that just 77.8 mm of the wet stuff came down during the month, and it is getting quite dry again.  The first Hythe hops collection date was supposed to have been  Thursday, however the Oast House where all the hops get dried was not able to take them, and so the next harvest date is Sunday 12th September instead, weather permitting.  Many of the hop growers are saying that the harvest is very variable this year, some had been slow to make a start, and some, like our own, had been damaged during high winds.   Time will tell, and we shall see once all the hops are gathered and the collective weight recorded. 

The sweet peas finally gave up the ghost this week and have been removed, they certainly lasted longer than they did last year and seemed to enjoy the cooler wetter weather.  Only the tomato plants at Enbrook park are blight free now.  Some people seem to worry that tomato plants affected by blight will make the actual tomatoes inedible.  As long as the fruit shows little or no sign of blight, then they are fine to eat – even green tomatoes can be removed and ripened on a windowsill, so just try to make the most of what is there under such circumstances.

The second sowing of mustards and winter lettuces did not get done so will have to be urgently on the list for this week.  The third lettuce sowings of the year are now mature enough to pick and take over from the second sowings which have finally gone to seed as have the tree spinach which will be left to mature for collecting, however that will most likely seem pointless as once you have let this one go to seed in the garden, it will likely be with you forever!

On Sunday 5th September, the Walk and Talk about the Sandgate Community Gardens and ‘no dig’ will be taking place, so if you have booked a place with the Sandgate Society, we will look forward to seeing you there!

What’s next?

  • Sow those mustard seeds and winter lettuces pronto
  • Keep watering and watering
  • Prepare the area where the sweet peas were and plant up with seedlings waiting to go out
  • Plant out the new spinach plants Consider having to resite the cold frames for the winter
Posted by Tim Prater in Sandgate Community Garden

Report of the External Auditor 2021


“On the basis of our review of Sections 1 and 2 of the Annual Governance and Accountability Return (AGAR), in our opinion the information in sections 1 and 2 of the AGAR is in accordance with Proper Practices and no other matters have come to our attention giving cause for concern that relevant legislation and regulatory requirement.”

“Other matters not affecting our opinion which we draw to the attention of the authority: none.”

The report of the external auditor is as shown above, and is also available to inspect from the Sandgate Parish Council office during opening hours.

Posted by Tim Prater in Finance, News, Resources