News

Seaside Award 2024 and Sandgate Parish Council

Seaside Award 2024 and Sandgate Parish Council

An open letter from Sandgate Parish Council to:

  • Keep Britain Tidy
  • The Environment Agency
  • Southern Water
  • Folkestone & Hythe District Council and
  • Neighbouring coastal Town and Parish Councils

Sandgate has been proud to receive the Seaside Award for the last ten years. In 2023, just 128 beaches in England won the Award, with only 24 in the South-East region. Keep Britain Tidy’s Seaside Award is the nationwide standard for the best beaches across the UK and it celebrates the quality and diversity of England’s coastline. The flag is a symbol of quality which ensures visitors are guaranteed to find a clean, safe, attractive, and well-managed coastal stretch.

Sandgate Parish Council has reluctantly decided not to apply for the award this year due to our concerns about the quality of the bathing water after heavy rain and stormy conditions.

The information on water quality for the Seaside Award comes from Environment Agency (EA) data and the sampling point for Sandgate is at Seabrook Point – a mile west from where people in Sandgate tend to swim, which is by Granville Parade. The EA test point at Seabrook Point is 50 metres to the west of a sewage outfall pipe. The prevailing current in this area runs west to east and testing therefore fails to pick up pollutants which are dissipated in an easterly direction towards Sandgate and Folkestone. Testing at this point has shown an excellent rating for the last 4 years for the prescribed Sandgate Beach area.

There is a Southern Water sewage outfall pipe located at the western end of Granville Parade (some 100-150 metres out to sea, depending on the tide), as well as the Enbrook Stream storm overflow and the Enbrook Stream outfall pipes on the beach. The popularity of Granville Parade as a swimming location has increased with the introduction of a sea sauna at the Rowing Club. The popularity of sea swimming has also increased considerably over recent years.  

Because of concerns about the accuracy and reliability of the data published by the EA and Southern Water, the Parish Council decided in September 2023 to use an established independent testing laboratory to provide sea water testing kits to test the water at Granville Parade. Sea water testing was undertaken on twelve occasions between October 2023 and January 2024.

From the results of these tests, and data from Surfers Against Sewage, the Parish Council concludes that generally the quality of the sea water under normal weather conditions is good and, sometimes, excellent. However, the testing did show very high levels of contaminates on one occasion after heavy rain.

Based on this information, the Parish Council took the view that it would be inappropriate for us to apply for the Seaside Award. We have decided that we should reach out to other coastal parishes and district councils to explore best practice during the period that water companies have to ensure their infrastructure is fit for purpose (2050).

We have the following three recommendations arising from our sea water testing:

  1. The Environment Agency’s sampling point for Sandgate should be at Granville Parade as this is where most people swim;
  2. Southern Water should update their wastewater handling so it no longer requires discharge of sewage to sea at Granville Parade (and elsewhere). In the interim, the sewage outfall pipe at Granville Parade should be extended further out to sea by Southern Water to help keep sewage spillage away from the bathing area and beach. (For example, the outlet pipe from the Hythe sewage treatment works extends 4km out to sea); and
  3. As a Parish Council, we should issue advice to sea users on best practice so that they may enjoy the sea in a safe manner. Information should be provided by the Parish Council and others to advise people to be cautious about the quality of the beach and the sea water for up to 48 hours after heavy rain and stormy conditions, with a link given to check the water quality (e.g. Surfers Against Sewage www.sas.org.uk).

A more detailed report with the results of the seawater testing is available on Sandgate Parish Council’s website (https://sandgatepc.org.uk/2024/03/12/sandgate-beach-sea-water-bathing-quality-testing-report-2024/)

Signed by

Tim Prater, Chair of Sandgate Parish Council and Susan Claris, Chair of the Environment Committee, Sandgate Parish Council

***

Seaside Award Water Quality Criteria: https://www.keepbritaintidy.org/the-seaside-awards

  • The beach must fully comply with the water quality sampling and frequency requirements
  • The beach must fully comply with the standards and requirements for water quality analysis
  • No industrial, waste-water or sewage-related discharges should affect the beach area
  • At designated bathing waters from 2016 the water quality should be graded as ‘sufficient’ as set out in the Bathing Water Directive. (In 2015, bathing beaches should of mandatory standard.)
Posted by Tim Prater in Environment, News
Vacancy on Sandgate Parish Council for Sandgate Village ward

Vacancy on Sandgate Parish Council for Sandgate Village ward

If you are passionate about your local community, we need you. Councillors make a huge difference to the quality of life of local people and how local issues are dealt with. We need people from all backgrounds and experiences who reflect the communities they serve to put themselves forward.

Are you interested in becoming a Councillor?

Following the recent resignation of Tracy Stephens we have a vacancy for one Councillor to join  Sandgate Parish Council.

This vacancy will be filled by a process called co-option. The person co-opted will hold the position until the next Parish Council elections in May 2027.

We are now inviting applications from local people to join Sandgate Parish Council. In terms of eligibility, you must be a British, Commonwealth or European Union citizen, over 18 years old and are registered to vote in the area; or have lived, worked, or owned property here for at least 12 months.

Responsibilities of the Parish Council

The Parish Council is responsible for running Sandgate Library, maintaining Sandgate and Fremantle Parks and other green spaces in the Parish and is a consultee on local planning issues. It also determines how much money to raise through the council precept to deliver these services to the residents of the parish.

What kind of person do we need?

You should have an active interest in local issues and things that affect local people and a willingness to represent the views of the community. You should be able to commit the time and effort to the role and to attend as many monthly Council meetings as possible, and you will be required to join one or two of the Committees or working groups and attend their meetings.

How to apply

To apply, please send a letter of application to the Parish Clerk, Gaye Thomas at clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk by noon on Thursday 18th April or drop off at Sandgate Parish Council & Library, James Morris Court, Sandgate High Street, Sandgate, Folkestone CT20 3RR. In your letter you may wish to include your connection to the parish, why you want to be a parish councillor and what skills / experience you can bring to the Council.

Applications will be looked at by Councillors and voted on at a meeting of the Full Council on 22nd April at 6.30pm, in Sandgate Library. You will be invited to attend and say a few words, and ask and answer any questions with the Councillors prior to the meeting.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Carbon Action Plan for Sandgate

Carbon Action Plan for Sandgate

Sandgate Parish Council Environment Committee: Carbon Action Plan (March 2024)

The purpose of this document is to outline a Carbon Plan for the Parish of Sandgate. It follows the Carbon Literacy Course that Susan Claris attended on 4 December 2023 as part of the Parish and Town Councils Climate Action Day, in partnership with KALC. Susan was awarded a Carbon Literate Certificate on 10 January 2024. It also relates to Action 24: Carbon of the Environment Committee’s action plan which is our aim for Sandgate Parish Council to be a carbon neutral council.

The Carbon Plan is below. More information on how this was developed can be found in the Supporting Information that follows.

Carbon Plans should only include things that are proven, investible and readily available. The following change targets are accordingly selected for the Parish of Sandgate.

  1. Reduce energy demand from all buildings, including heritage assets – introduce solar panels on Council buildings where possible. This is being progressed on The Boat House.
  2. Reduce private car travel/increase public transport and active transport – seek to improve the walking, wheeling and cycling environment in Sandgate and reduce the dominance of the private car. This being progressed by trying to introduce a 20mph zone in the village, improving walking (e.g. a pedestrian refuge island at the bottom of Military Road) and improved cycle parking (e.g. introduction of cycle parking stands on the Village Green)
  3. New buildings to be net zero or net positive – this can be supported in our comments to the District Council on planning applications
  4. Consumption patterns – buy less, re-use/repair more – support for Sandgate Environmental Action initiatives, such as the pre-loved clothes sale
  5. Promote awareness of altering dietary patterns and reducing food waste – support for Sandgate Community Garden
  6. Land management practices – improve green spaces and promote biodiversity – actions such as wildflower seed sowing in Sandgate Park
  7. Carbon storage – seek to plant more trees where we can in our parks and green spaces

This plan and the actions should help the village reduce its carbon footprint and help Parish Councillors talk to others about the climate crisis and our impact.

This Carbon Plan was adopted by Sandgate Parish Council at a meeting on 25 March 2024.

SUPPORTING INFORMATION

Evidence Report

In her Evidence Report (submitted following the Carbon Literacy course), Susan outlined her views on the most important changes that we need to make as a society to reach zero carbon as follows:

As a society we need to appreciate the scale and the urgency of the climate crisis and we all need to make changes in the way we live:

  • in our homes – the energy we use and where it comes from
  • how we travel – both everyday and for leisure/holidays, with more walking, cycling and public transport use, whilst reducing car ownership and use and flying less
  • our diet – adopting a more plant-based diet and eating local food
  • our habits – for example, reducing how much we buy, reducing our waste etc.

We need Government at national and local level to create the policies and legislative framework to facilitate and support the changes we need to make. We need to fully realise the global impacts of inaction, and that we won’t be affected equally – we have a duty of care towards those who will be impacted the greatest, particularly as these people will have contributed least to the problem.

We need to talk about the climate crisis in ways that people can understand and relate to. Talking about the global climate crisis and 420 atmospheric CO2 in parts per million may engage some, but not many. If, however, we talk to people in Sandgate about extreme weather events including storms, surface water flooding, high temperatures and drought, these are all things that people have recently experienced and can relate to. Similarly, in terms of talking about the actions that people can take, discussing the co-benefits can also be persuasive – for example, the cost savings that people can make from energy reduction. The messaging about the changes we need to make as a society to reach zero carbon needs be tailored to the local audience, and the Parish Council can help to do this.

The Evidence Report required Susan to commit to an individual action and a group action and her words on these are below. The new action relates directly to this Action Plan and the Group Action supports this, focusing on one aspect.

INDIVIDUAL ACTION

I am committing to preparing an Action Plan for Sandgate Parish Council to help the village reduce its carbon footprint and to help myself and the other Parish Councillors to talk to others about climate change and our impact. The Parish Council’s own carbon footprint is relatively low (as we use the local library for office space and meetings), so our local leadership outward facing role is our greatest opportunity to bring about change. The Action Plan will be structured around the various actions that can be taken by local councils and the various levers of influence (direct and indirect) for implementing these. This will help to identify actions and can also be used for monitoring purposes in terms of progress in implementing actions.

In terms of consumption, based on the information from the IMPACT tool, per household consumption emissions in Sandgate are 13t CO2e, with total consumption emissions of 30,796t CO2e (2,370 households). The largest sectors are consumption of goods and services (44%), followed by food and diet (27%) and travel (22%) – so these three sectors (which account for 93%) are the keys ones to focus on.

Greenhouse gases this will reduce: The Action Plan will be aimed at reducing consumption, so the greenhouse gases it will reduce are carbon dioxide and methane. In terms of the estimate of medium, changing behaviours is of course challenging, but if we could get 10% of the village households (237 households) to reduce their carbon footprint by 10% (from 13 to 11.7t CO2e), that would be an annual saving of just over 300 CO2e (237 households x 1.3t CO2e).

How

  • Helping people to reduce their consumption of goods and services, for example, buying pre-loved clothes, having a tool library etc.
  • Some changes to diet – to increase the proportion of plant-based food and reduce consumption of red meat, particularly imported beef and lamb.
  • Altering travel patterns to have more active travel (walking, wheeling and cycling) and less use of cars, particularly for short journeys in the village.

Significance: If we can encourage people to talk to their friends and neighbours about their behaviours and the benefits that can come from making changes, then the scale of change – and the impact on carbon emissions – can start to grow to become significant.

GROUP ACTION

My expertise is as a transport planner, and I want to commit to working with others who have the responsibility for the highway network in the village (the County Council) to improve conditions for walking, wheeling and cycling in the village, so that active travel becomes the more attractive choice for local journeys. This would help to reduce car journeys – and 22% of the village’s consumption carbon footprint comes from travel.

Doing this with: Primarily the Highways Department at Kent County Council, but it could also involve the Planning Department at Folkestone and Hythe District Council. The District Council also has responsibility for the car parks in the village.

My specific role: To suggest improvements for walking, wheeling and cycling in the village, such as more pedestrian refuge islands to help people cross the road, footway improvements, cycle parking, seating etc. These measures will be outlined in the village’s Highway Improvement Plan, for when funding is available from the County Council. Funding may also become available through the Community Infrastructure Levy or through Section 106 agreements when there is new development.

Greenhouse gases this will reduce: Travel emissions in Sandgate are 6,683t CO2e (total) or 2.8t CO2e per household – half of these come from private transport (3,325t CO2e total). Achieving a modal shift of 5% would result in a reduction of 166t CO2e. The reduction would be in carbon dioxide.

How: this could be achieved by both improving measures for walking, wheeling and cycling, and managing parking to deter short trips. Information about the health benefits of active travel (and the carbon emissions resulting from short car journeys, as well as the cost to the motorist) could help to reinforce the message.

Significance: Once some people start to walk, wheel and cycle, this tends to encourage others to do likewise – so the benefits spread and can start to become significant. Also, having fewer people drive, makes the environment better for active travel, creating a virtuous cycle.

ACTION PLANNING FOR THE CLIMATE EMERGENCY

As noted above, the Action Plan is structured around the various actions that can be taken by local councils and the various levers of influence (direct and indirect) for implementing these, as outlined on the Carbon Literacy Course. The Levers of Influence are as follows:

  • Direct control: own buildings, operations, travel, investments, pensions
  • Procurement/commissioning: all services and goods brought in
  • Placemaking: using powers to control how and where development occurs
  • Convening: bringing people together, supporting partnerships, co-ordinating efforts by others
  • Showcasing: demonstrating, promoting and rewarding good practice, social norming
  • Engaging: translating a global issue for local resonance, inspiring action, providing civic leadership

The 13 suggested Change Targets are as follows:

  1. Reduce energy demand from all buildings, including heritage assets
  2. Smarter smoother energy demand
  3. Decarbonise power generation
  4. Decarbonise heat delivery
  5. Reduce private car travel/increase public transport and active transport
  6. Shift to electrified travel
  7. Reduce air travel
  8. New buildings to be net zero or net positive
  9. Consumption patterns – buy less, re-use/repair more
  10. Increase recycling
  11. Alter dietary patterns and reduce food waste
  12. Land management practices – improve green spaces and promote biodiversity
  13. Carbon storage – plant more trees

A Carbon Action Plan should only include things that are proven, investible and readily available. The following change targets are accordingly selected for the Parish of Sandgate.

  • Reduce energy demand from all buildings, including heritage assets – introduce solar panels on Council buildings where possible. This is being progressed on The Boat House.    
  • Reduce private car travel/increase public transport and active transport – seek to improve the walking, wheeling and cycling environment in Sandgate and reduce the dominance of the private car. This being progressed by trying to introduce a 20mph zone in the village, improving walking (e.g. a pedestrian refuge island at the bottom of Military Road) and improved cycle parking (e.g. introduction of cycle parking stands on the Village Green)
  • New buildings to be net zero or net positive – this can be supported in our comments to the District Council on planning applications
  • Consumption patterns – buy less, re-use/repair more – support for Sandgate Environmental Action initiatives, such as the pre-loved clothes sale
  • Promote awareness of altering dietary patterns and reducing food waste – support for Sandgate Community Garden
  • Land management practices – improve green spaces and promote biodiversity – actions such as wildflower seed sowing in Sandgate Park
  • Carbon storage – seek to plant more trees where we can in our parks and green spaces

Susan Claris, Chair of Environment Committee, March 2024

Posted by Tim Prater in Environment, News
Sandgate Beach Sea Water Bathing Quality Testing Report 2024

Sandgate Beach Sea Water Bathing Quality Testing Report 2024

Because of concerns about the accuracy (and therefore reliability) of the data published by the EA and Southern Water on water quality for Sandgate beach at Granville Parade, the Parish Council decided in September 2023 to use an established independent testing laboratory to provide sea water testing kits to test the water at Granville Parade. Sea water testing was undertaken on twelve occasions between October 2023 and January 2024.

From the results of these tests and data from Surfers Against Sewage, the Parish Council concludes that generally the quality of the sea water under normal weather conditions is good and, sometimes, excellent. However, the testing did show high levels of contaminates on one occasion after heavy rain.

Based on this information, the Parish Council took the view that it would be inappropriate for us to apply for the Seaside Award 2024.

We also felt that it was important to publish our report, with the water testing results, in full as soon as possible. The report is available here.

SPC-Water-Testing-Report-March-2024

This report was considered and agreed by the Environment Committee on 11th March. It will will go to Full Council on 25th March to agree the wording on an open letter to Keep Britain Tidy (who organise the Seaside Award), Environment Agency, Southern Water, Folkestone & Hythe District Council and neighbouring coastal Town and Parish Councils.

Posted by Tim Prater in Environment, News

Invitation to Tender: Ground Maintenance Services 2024-2028

Sandgate Parish Council wishes to select and appoint a suitable supplier for Sandgate Parish Grounds Maintenance Services and invites prospective suppliers to submit a Tender to meet the Council’s requirements.

The Contract is expected to start June 2024 and will continue for 4 years.

A copy of the specification can be found on the Kent Business Portal (www.kentbusinessportal.org.uk) and search current opportunities for DN715008.

Quotations and queries should be sent to clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk by noon, 26 April 2024.

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Invitation to Tender: Caretaker Services 2024-2028

Sandgate Parish Council is inviting applications for the services of a caretaker at Sandgate Park and Fremantle Park. The specific requirements for the above are detailed in the specification attached.

The Contract is expected to start June 2024 and will continue for 4 years.

A full contract specification and more details are available here.

Quotations and queries should be sent to clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk by noon, 26 April 2024.

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Invitation to Tender: Handyperson Contract 2024-2028

Sandgate Parish Council wishes to select and appoint a suitable supplier for Sandgate Parish Handyperson Services and invites prospective suppliers to submit a Tender to meet the Council’s requirements.

The Contract is expected to start June 2024 and will continue for 4 years.

A copy of the specification can be found on the Kent Business Portal (www.kentbusinessportal.org.uk) and search current opportunities for DN714994.

Quotations and queries should be sent to clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk by noon, 26 April 2024.

Posted by Tim Prater in News
Kent Winter Energy Support Scheme – Household Support Fund

Kent Winter Energy Support Scheme – Household Support Fund

Funded by the Department for Work and Pensions on behalf of the UK government, the Household Support Fund scheme supports vulnerable Kent households in need of help with significantly rising living costs.

Kent’s Winter Energy Support Scheme has been extended until midday 21st March 24, or until funds have been spent.

You can either refer yourself to the scheme or refer someone as a professional.

If your application is successful, you will receive one £100 prepaid card per eligible household to be used towards energy costs.

You will be eligible for assistance if you:

  • are aged 16 or over
  • are a Kent resident, permanently living within one of the 12 local authorities covered by Kent County Council (this excludes Medway, Bexley, or Bromley)
  • have a household income of less than £40,000 per annum before tax, including all benefits and employment income
  • do not have more than £1000 in savings, not including funds you have identified for the payment of regular bills
  • do not receive free school meals voucher support from your child’s school over the school holidays, for any child within your household
    are responsible for your household energy costs.

If you are referring yourself, you will need to provide proof of residence at a Kent address as part of your application. We expect professionals who are completing the application on behalf of someone else to check that recipients of support meet all the eligibility criteria.

If your family is eligible for benefits-related free school meals, you should already have received support, with schools already providing a £100 energy voucher per eligible child at the end of November 2023. If you receive benefits-related free school meals and have not received this support, contact kentfsmenquiries@kent.gov.uk for guidance.

Learn more and apply.

Posted by Tim Prater in News

Notice of Vacancy

Notice-of-Vacancy-Sandgate-Village-Ward-of-Sandgate-PC

Notice is hereby given that a vacancy has arisen in the Office of Councillor for the Parish Council following the resignation of a Sandgate Village ward Councillor on health grounds.

If by 11 March 2024 a request for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to:

The Returning Officer
Folkestone & Hythe District Council
Civic Centre
Castle Hill Avenue
Folkestone
Kent CT20 2QY

by TEN electors for the Electoral Area, an election will be held to fill the vacancy, otherwise the vacancy will be filled by co-option.

Posted by Tim Prater in News

The Sandgate Sea and Food Festival 2024

We are excited to confirm that The Sandgate Sea and Food Festival will return on August bank holiday weekend (Saturday 24th and Sunday 25th).

The 2024 event is still in its infancy. Exact details to be confirmed however the basic programme will be:

Saturday 24th August

  • Live music from 8-10pm
  • Free fireworks exhibition 9pm
  • Market stalls/food vendors from 7pm

Sunday 25th August

  • Live music from 10am-4pm
  • Market stalls from 10am-4pm

Stalls:

Any local business or organisation that wants to be part of the Granville Parade Seafront Market is welcome to apply! You can find the stall booking form and FAQs below.  Commercial stalls are £75.

Barrow of Booze:

A key part of the Sandgate Sea and Food Festival each year is the draw to win a “barrow of booze”. That’s an eclectic collection of bottles, cans and more donated from across the village and conveniently served in a wheelbarrow to one lucky ticket buyer! All proceeds from ticket sales will go to the RNLI.

If you have a bottle or two you could donate to fill our barrow this year (unopened bottles only please!) then please drop them to Sandgate Library during opening hours or contact clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk to arrange delivery. Thank you!

Fringe events:

We want to work alongside Sandgate businesses to host fringe events over the weekend. If you are a local business and want to discuss a fringe event (which we will promote as part of the overall programme), please contact clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk or call 01303 248563 to discuss.

Sponsorship/support:

We have two key sponsorship packages, which we are happy to discuss with anyone who would like to offer sponsorship.

The ‘Community Hero’ package is for those who wish to sponsor the event in excess of £1,000. In return, the ‘Community Hero’ would be featured, in a key position, on all advertising including posters, leaflets, Sandgate Parish Council website, event social media, and all materials on the day of the event.  The ‘Community Hero’ would also feature in the ‘thank yous’ given during the event by the event host and dedicated posts of appreciation on the event social media. Please note that the number of sponsors via the ‘Community Hero’ package is limited.

The ‘Helping Hand’ package is for those who wish to sponsor the event in excess of £250. In return, the ‘Helping Hand’ would be featured on all advertising including posters, leaflets, Sandgate Parish Council website, social media, and all materials on the day of the event. 

We will update this page regularly so please check in for updates.

If you would like to discuss any of the above, please contact Chani on clerk@sandgatepc.org.uk or 01303 248563.

Posted by Tim Prater in News, Sea Festival