Robert Bliss 1936 – 2020

Robert Bliss 1936 – 2020

It is with huge sadness that Sandgate Parish Council learned of the sudden death of our friend and Vice-Chairman Robert Bliss on Monday.

Robert was Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council from 2011 until May this year, serving longer than all other Chairmen of the Parish combined.

Robert also served as District Councillor for Sandgate from 1995 to 2015, and County Councillor for Folkestone West from 2005 to 2009. He was made an Alderman of Shepway District in 2015 on his retirement as a District Councillor in recognition of his service.

Tim Prater, Chairman of Sandgate Parish Council, said:

“We heard of Robert’s death on Monday morning with great shock and sadness. Robert was deeply committed to Sandgate, a long standing and valued member of the Parish Council, and a great support.

“Most of all we’re thinking of Nina and Robert’s family as they come to terms with their loss: Robert and Nina have been inseparable for years.

“I know how rightly proud he was of his many years as Councillor, Parish Chairman, and indeed the almost 10 years he led the then Shepway District Council.

“We shared a passion for Sandgate taking control of our services and local facilities. Robert fought to see Sandgate Library reopened after a period of closure over a decade ago. He also helped make happen the unique agreement that sees Sandgate Parish Council managing our own Library, and was delighted by all it has since achieved.

“Throughout, he showed complete commitment to this village, the district as a whole and to his beloved Nina. He was an honest and honourable man.

“Sandgate will be be poorer without Robert, and we will miss him.”​

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Parish Council Annual Return 2019-20

Sandgate Parish Council is defined as a “smaller authority” for the purposes of publication of its annual accounts and statements.

The Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 and the Accounts and Audit Regulations 2015 require that:

1. The accounting records for the financial year to which the audit relates and all books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers, receipts and other documents relating to those records must be made available for inspection by any person interested, during a period of 30 working days set by the smaller authority and including the first 10 working days of July.

2. The period referred to in paragraph (1) starts with the day on which the period for the exercise of public rights is treated as having been commenced i.e. the day following the day on which all of the obligations in paragraph (3) below have been fulfilled.

3. The responsible financial officer for a relevant authority must, on behalf of that authority, publish (which must include publication on the authority’s website):

(a) the Accounting Statements (i.e. Section 2 of the Annual Return), accompanied by:

(i) a declaration, signed by that officer to the effect that the status of the Accounting Statements are unaudited and that the Accounting Statements as published may be subject to change;

(ii) the Annual Governance Statement (i.e. Section 1 of the Annual Return); and

(b) a statement that sets out—

(i) the period for the exercise of public rights;

(ii) details of the manner in which notice should be given of an intention to inspect the accounting records and other documents;

(iii) the name and address of the local auditor;

(iv) the provisions contained in section 26 (inspection of documents etc.) and section 27 (right to make objections at audit) of the Act, as they have effect in relation to the authority in question.

All the required accounting statements, declarations, annual governance statement and additional statements are available in this 2020 Full Annual Return of Sandgate Parish Council. The declared period for the exercise of Public Rights is 1 September – 12 October 2020, but in practice it was published on the Sandgate Parish Council website on 30 July 2020.


Scanned pdf documents do not comply with the Accessibility Regulations but the above documents can be provided in an alternative format or on alternative media, on request.

There is a National Audit Office guide Local Authority Accounts: A guide to your rights.

Posted by Tim Prater in Council, News, Resources

Seagull Proof Sacks for Refuse Collections: Now Available in Sandgate

Seagulls and bin bags don’t mix. Well, perhaps they do. Too well. For the seagull.

Following an approach by Sandgate Parish Council, Folkestone and Hythe District Council have agreed to make available ‘seagull proof’ bags for households in Sandgate that have a purple sack rubbish collection (ie no wheely bin).

This will help prevent your rubbish sacks being attacked by seagulls on collection day (which should make Sandgate High Street on a Wednesday a slightly less rubbish-strewn area – we hope!). It’s not compulsory, but we hope any household that has seen their sacks attacked will take part to help keep our village tidier!

You simply put your current purple sacks, sealed, into the outer Seagull proof sack. The sack is then emptied and left for you to use again (and again, and again – they are not disposable).

We were, pre-Covid, planning to distribute sacks to qualifying households from stalls at the Sandgate Farmers Market and via Sandgate Library, but that’s clearly not possible right now.

So to order your sack email or call 01303 248563 with your name and address. We are only permitted to give sacks to those with a current “purple sack” collection, so please don’t ask if your usual rubbish collection is a bin collection. We will drop the sack to your property in the next 5 working days.

Please note that bags DO NOT replace purple sacks – you place your purple sacks IN the seagull proof bag.

How to use your seagull proof bag:

  • Please secure your sack outside your property before 7am on collection day;
  • Please place your purple bags inside your gull proof sack and make sure that the sack is securely closed to avoid the gulls attacking your waste;
  • Our waste crews will remove the purple bags from your gull proof sack on collection day;
  • Please take your bag in as soon as possible after collection, any gull proof sacks left out permanently will be removed and not replaced;
  • You may wish to number your sack so that it can be recognised as yours.
Posted by Tim Prater in News
KCC Director of Public Health response to national media reports re: Covid cases in Ashford and Folkestone

KCC Director of Public Health response to national media reports re: Covid cases in Ashford and Folkestone

Kent County Council Director of Public Health, Andrew Scott-Clark statement on recent Covid case numbers in Ashford and Folkestone:

As part of our outbreak plans, we work closely with Public Health England to monitor the figures across Kent – the seven day rolling average for Ashford and Folkestone continues to decline from the peak seen in April/May, so this PHE report does not mean there is a current need for any local lockdowns.

While the figure for cumulative confirmed cases will always appear high for these areas, there is no comparison to be made between the rates of new cases currently occurring in Ashford and Folkestone, and areas such as Leicester.

We have seen a number of infections in care settings and these are being effectively managed but we have not seen any evidence of any widespread community transmission of COVID-19 and there are currently no plans to introduce any lockdowns specifically these areas. Should, however, the need arise, we will not hesitate to take further steps should it be necessary. 

Ashford and Folkestone have seen higher rates than other areas and is a combination of higher testing rates earlier in the pandemic, a large NHS Trust and many care homes in the area plus the London commuter effect.

We have known Ashford has experienced high numbers for a while and as a result we have deployed mobile testing sites to this area to increase the amount of people who are tested to allow us to better understand how and why this is happening.

As a result we are finding more positive results because we know that some people can be infected with Covid-19, but not exhibit symptoms (asymptomatic cases).

The public should be reassured that the levels of testing across the whole of Kent have also been ramped up and we would expect to see a rise in the number of cumulative confirmed cases.

We have increased our testing capacity so that we are able to identify and confirm cases in our community and support the NHS Test and Trace programme. We appeal to residents to follow the guidance should they be contacted by NHS test and trace. This will all help us control the spread of the virus.

The NHS in the region have also been working hard making sure that there is sufficient testing resources for their patients and staff to get the testing that they need to support their safety and treatment.

The Government has also set up a home-testing service where kits can be delivered to someone’s door so they can test themselves and their family without leaving the house.

The message to residents remains clear – to follow national guidance on social distancing, use thorough and regular handwashing, and follow advice if contacted by the NHS Test and Trace system. For more information, go to

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Sandgate High Street: Open for Business

Sandgate High Street: Open for Business

Sandgate Parish Council Chairman Tim Prater & Parish Clerk Gaye Thomas were delighted with the reception from businesses up and down Sandgate High Street on Friday 10th July. The message time and again was clear: Sandgate is Open for Business!

From hairdressers and barbers through cafes, antique, clothing dnd home decor shops, cafes and pubs, all are back up and trading, with all making adjustments to keep customers and staff safe and disatanced.

Sandgate Chairman Tim Prater commented:

“It’s great to see so many businesses with their doors now back open and trading, even where they’ve had to make real adjustments to do so at this time.

“A number of businesses have been trading throughout since March, others have reopened since. So many local people have relied on the service provided by businesses like The Village Store and The Dog House through the Covid closure period, and it has been hugely appreciated.

“Some businesses like Roka and Loaf are currently entirely take-away, and others, like our pubs The Providence and The Ship Inn, and restaurants like Ti Lucks, are offering eat and drink in, but with reduced hours, spacing and additional in premises precautions to keep all safe. What is clear is that everyone is doing their best to work within the new guidelines.

“It has only been a week since some businesses have been allowed to reopen at all, but they were all delighted to be back, and there is a real buzz in the High Street again, with almost all doors now open: great to see. “

Photography: Joe Hudson.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
The Folkestone Haven

The Folkestone Haven

The Folkestone Haven offers safe, inclusive and welcoming spaces for people who are struggling to cope with their mental health during the evening, weekends and bank holidays when other services may be closed.

The Folkestone Haven is for adult residents (18+) of the Folkestone and Hythe District who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health and feel unable to cope. This includes people who may be anxious or worried about anything affecting their mental health but don’t have support networks available to them. It is for people who use or have used mental health services and those who have never used them before.

It is open access and no appointment is necessary, and the service is completely free.

The Folkestone Haven is based at the Rainbow Centre, 69 Sandgate Road, Folkestone CT20 2AF ( 07827 533871). They are open Monday-Friday from 18:00 to 23:00 and Weekends & Bank Holidays from 12:00 to 23:00.

The Folkestone Haven’s aim is to support people using the service to reduce their crisis and anxiety, and to safety plan, drawing on strengths, resilience and coping mechanisms to reduce the need to use crisis services in the future. We will also refer and signpost to other support services.



You can learn more at

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent Parking Consultation Report Published

Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent Parking Consultation Report Published

Folkestone and Hythe District Council have published their report on the recent consultation of amending the conditions on summer parking restrictions and hours in Radnor Cliff and Radnor Cliff Crescent.

A majority of residents in the roads were against amending the current scheme. The recommendation of the report is therefore that the changes should not be made.

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Park and Enbrook Valley Playgrounds Reopen

In line with the Government rules, the children’s playgrounds at Sandgate Park and Enbrook Valley (Fremantle Road) will be reopened for use from Saturday 4th July.

Please: Be Sensible says Sandgate Parish Council Chairman Tim Prater

However, we ask all park users to be careful in the use of the playgrounds and adult exercise equipment. Both parks will have signs in place reminding users how to stay safe.

It is not possible to clean the equipment between use, so any surface is only as clean as the hands of the people who’ve touched it before.

  • Clean your hands before and after using the equipment.
  • Don’t touch your face and ensure you cover your mouth if coughing
  • If you can’t maintain social distancing, wait your turn
  • At busy times, use the equipment for a reasonable time only
  • One family member should accompany a child in the playground
Posted by Tim Prater in News

Sandgate Walking Tours to Launch in July

On Saturday 18th July Tony Quarrington will be bringing his award winning walking tours to Sandgate for the first time.

Tony developed the Sandgate Walking tour programme after discussions with Sandgate Parish Council earlier this year. The Parish Council are supporting the programme with promotion and a small grant.

Tony will be delivering a minimum of ten tours between mid July and late October. All tours will start at the Chichester Memorial Hall at 11am on a Saturday and last approximately two hours. 

It had been hoped that the majority of the tours would coincide with the fortnightly Farmer’s Market, but that might have to wait a little while longer.

Enbrook Park, the Castle, High Street, seafront, Old Fire Station, library, parish church and former primary school are just some of the attractions that Tony will focus on along the walk.

In addition to the history, culture and architecture of the village, he will also explain the role of many of the prominent personalities, such as H.G. Wells, Sir John Moore, William Wilberforce and Hattie Jacques, that have shaped and illuminated Sandgate over the centuries. 

Tony, who lives in Folkestone, has been conducting walking tours in the town for the past three years, focusing on The Leas, harbour and seafront, Creative Quarter and the East Cliff. He is excited to be venturing further afield and sharing his passion for the village with his guests.

Sandgate Parish Council Chairman Tim Prater welcomed the launch of the programme. Tim said:

“When I started the conversation with Tony about bringing his walking tours to Sandgate we hoped we would offer something new and different for the village and our visitors.

“We hope that this summer as many people as possible enjoy an outdoor, socially distanced tour with Tony and learn more about our village, its history and the people that lived (and live!) here.

“It would be great to see this become a regular feature in Sandgate for years to come, and we look forward to working, and walking, with Tony!”

2020 Sandgate Walking Tour Dates:

  • Saturday 18th July
  • Saturday 1st August
  • Saturday 15th August
  • Saturday 29th August
  • Saturday 5th September
  • Saturday 12th September
  • Saturday 19th September
  • Saturday 3rd October
  • Saturday 17th October
  • Saturday 24th October

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Tidying Up Enbrook Valley Park

Since Sandgate Parish Council took on the maintenance and running of Enbrook Valley Park in Fremantle Road a couple of weeks ago, we’ve already started improving the area and getting the playground ready for the post-Covid reopening that we really hope is not far away.

The playground equipment has been checked, swing seats replaced where needed and frames repainted to make sure its safe and tidy. The bench in the playground has been refurbished as well. The weeds that were growing through the matting have been sorted, and signage updated.

We’ve had the 5-a-side goals painted, and we’ve got some more works planned. we will be cutting back the overgrown area of weeds near the footpath entrance from Enbrook Valley and also doing the same down the one side of the football pitch to make it a bit squarer: that last one will need to wait until the Autumn though!

There will soon be a leaflet through local doors asking for people to get involved in taking care of the park: from keeping an eye on it and reporting problems to litter picking as required and even getting involved with new planters and beds: watch this space!

Posted by Tim Prater in News